Sustainable Development Goals & Climate Change
During International Days and major international conferences there is a special opportunity to serve in
the creation of a more unified and compassionate world.
As meditators we can symbolically stand together with all actively working in the spirit of the Charter of Compassion, and invoke the aid of the Forces of Light in support of these events.
These International Days and events reflect important themes in the mobilization of energies to:
- End poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030 through practical actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
- engaging people of goodwill all over the world in a common movement.
2019 United Nations International Years
2020 United Nations International Years
Silence at the United Nations
The Spiritual Caucus at the United Nations gathers in the vicinity of UN Headquarters in New York (September - June) on the third Thursday every month for 30 minutes of silence followed by 30 minutes of dialogue, sharing insights and exploring ways to use an inner focus in service of the work of the UN. On the 1st Thursday of the month the Caucus invites friends to sit in silence for 30 minutes in the newly renovated Meditation Room at UN Headquarters in New York.
Please link in from wherever you are. More information at: http://www.spiritualcaucusun.org/
In December the Spiritual Caucus will gather for silence in the UN Meditation Room at UN Headquarters, New York on December 5 from 12.45 - 1.15 PM and for silence and discussion at the the Bahai UN Mission, 866 UN Plaza, New York on December 19 from 1.30 - 2.45 PM.
December Please Hold These Events in the Light
World AIDS Day
2019 theme: Communities Make the Difference
Communities contribute to the AIDS response in many different ways. Their leadership and advocacy ensure that the response remains relevant and grounded, keeping people at the centre and leaving no one behind. Communities include peer educators, networks of people living with or affected by HIV, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs and sex workers, women and young people, counsellors, community health workers, door-to-door service providers, civil society organizations and grass-roots activists.
At the end of 2018 37.9 million people globally were living with HIV and 770,000 people died in the year 2018 from AIDS-related illnesses.
UN Aids Day
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Millions of men, women and children around the world are forced to lead lives as slaves. Although this exploitation is often not called slavery, the conditions are the same. People are sold like objects, forced to work for little or no pay and are at the mercy of their 'employers'. more
Slavery was, in a very real sense, the first international human rights issue to come to the fore. It led to the adoption of the first human rights laws and to the creation of the first human rights non-governmental organization….
On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, let us reaffirm the inherent dignity of all men, women and children. And let us redouble our efforts so that the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- "no one shall be held in slavery or servitude" -- ring true. - Kofi Annan
December 2 - 13
UN Climate Change Conference, Madrid, Spain
This will be the 25th annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), informally referred to as COP25. While the event will be conducted under the presidency of the Government of Chile, it has been re-scheduled to take place in Madrid, with the logistical support of the government of Spain.
A key objective of COP25 is to raise overall ambition by completing several key aspects with respect to the full operationalization of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.Last year at COP24 in Poland, the bulk of the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement were agreed, with the exception of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Article 6 is to provide guidelines for how international climate markets will work, as a key component of the world’s economic toolbox for addressing climate change.
International Day for Persons with Disabilities
2019 theme: Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda
Over a billion people, approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. Following the historic passage of a global Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities there has been a growing recognition by governments and civil society that any plans for human development must include and involve the community of people living with disabilities.
This years theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as anticipated in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issue, to be considered in the implementation of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
World Soil Day
Theme 2019: Stop soil erosion, Save our future
Every 5 seconds, the equivalent of one soccer field of soil is eroded. This alarming fact reaffirms the need to raise awareness through World Soil Day of this growing problem as the Earth's population expands.
International Volunteer Day
2019 theme: Volunteer for an inclusive future
A day to celebrate the goodwill energy radiated throughout the human family by volunteers. Every society in the world relies on a vast network of volunteers to bring the energies of heart into community.
Volunteer Day offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions - at local, national and international levels - to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Over the years, rallies, parades, community volunteering projects, environmental awareness, free medical care and advocacy campaigns have all featured prominently on Volunteer Day.
In a world dominated by self, volunteers are catalysts in the generation of the selfless spirit. Volunteers bring soul into community. Because volunteers in human development and environment issues are, more often than not, acting from idealistic and altruistic motives they bring a spiritual force into their own communities and the communities they serve. In the process of serving others, volunteers become a source of inspiration. They help to create an atmosphere of hope and goodwill that can be the critical transforming factor in ending a cycle of poverty and despair.
Yet bringing soul into community is not only about inspiration and vision. It is about meeting the most basic human needs at all levels - physical as well as psychological. Volunteers play a crucial role in every area of life, in all parts of the world. Wherever people are in need, volunteers are at hand to assist. In times of disaster, governments turn to voluntary agencies for all manner of expertise and assistance. And volunteers are key agents in tackling the silent disasters and human tragedies associated with poverty, pollution, disease and conflict.
December 7 - 8
One World Bearing Witness: Belonging to Earth
A 24-hour online vigil. During one full rotation of the Earth, from the 7th to the 8th of December 2019, we will gather together in our homes, houses of worship, community centers, and sacred spaces through the global connective power of the internet to bear witness to Earth, our Mother and Home.
Bearing Witness is a spiritual practice and an act of conscience. When we bear witness, we allow the full truth touch us in the deepest part of our selves. We allow ourselves to open to the complexity and mystery of our relationship to Earth. Bearing Witness is a practice of spiritual warriorship that helps us to develop our humanity so that we can hold more of the whole and respond to life from that wholeness. We connect with the truth that we are not separate from our Mother, Earth, or from each other.
This Vigil is jointly co-ordinated by One World in Dialogue (established to develop a living global network of change-makers and activists committed to deep dialogue in order to create new approaches and collaborations that support change)and Zen Peacemakers International (a worldwide movement of Peacemakers who practice meditation, embody the Three Tenets of the Zen Peacemakers (Not Knowing, Bearing Witness, Taking Action), live an ethical life, and do social action as a path of awakening and service.
International Anti-Corruption Day
Attitudes on corruption are changing. As recently as ten years ago, corruption was only whispered about. Today there are signs of growing intolerance toward corruption and more and more politicians and chief executives are being tried and convicted.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption - which entered into force in December 2005 - is both a cause and an effect of this trend. Its provisions are the most comprehensive, universal and even-handed measures for tackling this global challenge. The Convention subjects all the State Parties to the same scrutiny and sets clear rules to be applied equally to all.
International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
Human Rights Day
2019 Theme: Youth Stand Up for Human Rights
On 10 December every year, Human Rights Day commemorates the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming its principles as the "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations." This year Human Rights Day marks the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration.
Young people have always been major drivers of political, economic and social change. In the last few years, they have been at the forefront of grassroots mobilizations for change. Youth participation is essential to achieve sustainable development for all. Empowering youth to better know and claim their rights will generate global benefits.
International Mountains Day
2019 Theme: Mountains Matter for Youth
International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the mountain peoples and environments.
Many of the world's great mountain regions have long been considered to be sacred. See for example:
Nine Sacred Mountains of China;
Sacred Mountains, Themes and Teachings by Edwin Bernbaum.
Full Moon — Sagittarius
Since ancient times human beings have honored the full moon as a time when the sacred is most accesible. It is a time of light - the moon reflects the light of the sun onto the face of the earth. In astrology this is a time when the qualities and potentials of the zodiacal sign of the sun are especially available to humanity for use in service.
During the full moon religious and esoteric groups around the world use the opportunities of this time to vizualize light and love and spiritual power flowing into humanity and strengthening all that is being done to help prepare the way for a world of unity, justice and peace; a world in which the Sustainable Development Goals are in process of being achieved.
International Universal Health Coverage Day
2019 Theme: Keep the Promise
Established by the UN General Assembly in December 2012, Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. The General Assembly voted to encourage governments to move towards Universal Health coverage on the understanding that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care - as an essential priority for international development.
International Day of Neutrality
Concerned to encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means the UN General Assemby voted in 2017 to declare December 12 International Day of Neutrality
It is worth noting that the policy of neutrality — a key factor for providing conditions and building a platform for peaceful negotiations — is also closely interconnected with and based on the tools of preventive diplomacy, such as early warning and prevention of conflict, mediation, good offices, fact-finding missions, negotiation, the use of special envoys, informal consultations, peacebuilding and targeted development activities.
International Migrants Day
International Migrants Day is observed on December 18 to mark the anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly, in 1990, of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. During the last decade migrants have made up around 3% of the global population — 214 million people are today classified as migrants.
Migrants contribute greatly to the sense of cultural diversity in modern societies, and to our appreciation of the oneness of the human spirit. They give us the experience of living in a global neighborhood. Yet migrants are often subject to discrimination and exploitation. In a world of unity in diversity all communities are challenged to ensure that migrants are treated with humanity and their rights respected.
The Day will be observed by Migrants groups as The Global Day of Action for the Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People.
International Human Solidarity Day
Convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing was important for combating poverty, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 December as International Human Solidarity Day.
It is to be observed as :
- A day to celebrate our unity in diversity
- A day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements
- A day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity
- A day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication
- A day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.
Once we truly grasp that we are brothers and sisters in a common humanity, then we can shape our attitudes towards life in the light of the solidarity which makes us one. This is especially true in all that relates to the basic universal project: peace. - John Paul II.
Global Silent Minute
On December 21st at 9.00pm GMT join in one minute of silence, the exact same minute everywhere around the globe and on both sides of the veil – to call for global cooperation, peace, and freedom.
Amidst the challenges we face today, the Global Silent Minute is an opportunity to unite in thought, prayer, and meditation to create the future we imagine. The minute begins with the ringing of bells everywhere, as together we enter into one silent minute, calling on humanity to fulfill its highest potential and greatest destiny: peace on Earth.
The Global Silent Minute is inspired by the Silent Minute launched in WWII in London during the blitz as a call to citizens to unite daily in a silent minute for peace and freedom. Millions participated, and its success was acknowledged after the war as a “secret weapon” which the Germans could not counter. Today, our Global Silent Minute will be a powerful force in the creation of a better world for all.
Originally launched as a contribution to the Festival Week of the New Group of World Servers, support for the Silent Minute on December 21st is growing rapidly. It has been endorsed by HH The Dalai Lama and is being promoted by The Holistic Centers Network and is featured on the New Story Hub.
In the lead up to the Global Silent Minute and the Festival Week, a community of groups in Australia and now colleagues around the globe have launched a subjective focus on Silence. To this end a compilation has been prepared of daily seed thoughts on Silence from the Agni Yoga Teachings which can be downloaded at festivalweek.org
December 21 - 28
Festival Week of the New Group of World Servers
All who love humanity and the Earth and who express that love through lives of active service form one group in consciousness: the New Group of World Servers.
In December 2019, as part of a festival observed every seven years, meditators from around the world will be invoking energies of light, love and spiritual power from the higher worlds; and evoking response to these energies from the New Group of World Servers.
A wide range of groups is participating in the Week through subjective alignments, visualizations and invocations in support of the Group of World Servers. Lucis Trust will hold major seminars in Geneva, London and New York on December 21st and there will be gatherings in various parts of the world throughout the week as well as webinars and on-line events.
A network of esoteric groups has organized a schedule of events which can be seen here. There is also a calendar of events organised by a range of groups at festivalweek.org. Read a list of suggested guidelines on How to Observe the Festival Week.