I quote from the article:
Reportedly the American Chemical Society and the National Academy of Sciences both played a very helpful role in winning support by the U.S. for the commitment of the United Nations for the celebration of chemistry.
The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution formally declaring 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry. Ethiopia, which is the host country for the Federation of African Societies of Chemistry, submitted the resolution calling for the year, which will highlight the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to humanity.
"The International Year of Chemistry will give a global boost to chemical science in which our life and our future are grounded," says Jung-Il Jin, president of the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and a professor of chemistry at Korea University, in Seoul, South Korea.
"We hope to increase the public appreciation and understanding of chemistry, increase young people's interest in science, and generate enthusiasm for the creative future of chemistry," he adds.
The IUPAC Committee on Chemistry has established a management panel that will work with chemical societies; the UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and others to plan and implement activities during the year.
The year 2011 is the centennial anniversary of the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Marie Curie. Thus the International Year of Chemistry will provide a natural opportunity to celebrate the contribution of women to science.