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:
United Nations International Year
- Contrary to common practice, the United Nations has not declared 2018 as International Year for any specific topic.
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 May the Spiritual Caucus will gather for silence in the UN Meditation Room in the main lobby at UN Headquarters, New York on May 3 from 12.45 - 1.15 PM and for silence and discussion on May 17 from 1.30 - 2.45 PM, gathering at the offices of World Goodwill / Lucis Trust, 866 UN Plaza, Suite 482, New York, NY 10017.
May Please Hold These Events in the Light
May Day / International Worker's Day / Labour Day / Beltane
May 1st, traditionally a holiday in many parts of the world, celebrates the achievements of the labour movement in improving the conditions and rights of all working people. The day is also widely observed in the Northern Hemisphere in celebration of the coming of Spring and as the Beltane Festival of the Celtic tradition.
The vision behind this Day, which has been organized every year since 2004 by the Love Foundation, is to unite one and all in a celebration of love and compassion. We honor each May 1st as a symbolic day of unconditional love and call upon all people and all nations to gather together in the wisdom of peace and love.
2018 Theme: Is Your Tuna Sustainable?
First observed in 2017, the Day aims to raise awareness of the need for conservation management to ensure the survival of Tuna fish in the wild. Many countries depend heavily on tuna resources for food security and nutrition, economic development, employment, government revenue, livelihoods, culture and recreation.
May 2 - 3
Sustainable Energy For All Forum, Lisbon, Portugal
2018 Theme: Leaving No One Behind
Sponsored by the EU, Africa Development Fund, OPEC, numerous governments and corporations, the annual Forum brings together leaders from government, business, civil society and international organizations to explore innovation and action in the global sustainable energy movement. The 2018 Forum will focus on progress being made to achieve Sustainable Energy Goal 7 in the SDGs and goals in the Paris Climate Agreement.
World Press Freedom Day
2018 Theme: Keeping Power in Check:
Media, Justice and The Rule of Law
It is easy for those of us who live in liberal democracies to take a relatively free press for granted. Freedom of the press expressing a wide diversity of opinions and voices is essential to the health of a community. Reporters Without Borders document the many areas of the world in which journalists are far from free.
Celebrations of the Day around the world include presentation of an annual UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize
International Permaculture Day
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self reliant and have minimal impact on the environment.
International Permaculture Day, observed in over 35 countries on the first Sunday in May, is a day of celebration and action for permaculture around the world.
May 6 - 12
International Compost Awareness Week
May 11 - 12
Global Elementary Model United Nations, Dallas, TX, USA
Every year since 1990 Elementary and Middle School children from several countries participate in this unique Model United Nations, role playing different governments in response to various issues before the UN General Assembly and the governing bodies of different UN Agencies. Over the years more than 6,000 children have taken part. Model United Nations are common around the world at high school level - elementary and middle or intermediate school programs are not so common.
World Migratory Bird Day
2018 theme: Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation.
World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness-raising campaign by the UN Environment Program highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. On the second Saturday each May and October, people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and birdwatching excursions to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.
Migration is a perilous journey and exposes the animals to a wide range of threats, often caused by human activities. As migratory birds depend on a range of sites throughout their journey along their flyway, the loss of wintering and stopover sites could have a dramatic impact on the animals' chances of survival.
Flying long distances involves crossing many borders between countries with differing environmental policies, legislation and conservation measures. International cooperation among governments, NGOs and other stakeholders is required along the entire flyway of a species in order that knowledge can be shared and conservation efforts coordinated. The legal framework and coordinating instruments necessary for such cooperation is provided by multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA).
World Fair Trade Day
2018 theme: Live Fair, one product at a time
The World Fair Trade Day is an initiative of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) that takes place on the second Saturday of May of each year. It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade as a tangible contribution to sustainable development, especially the economic empowerment of small producers, gender equality in workplaces and responsible production practices.
May 14 - 16
UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament, UN Headquarters, New York
This important UN conference will attract attendance from world leaders of most UN member states. They will be expected to take – or announce at the conference – actions to reduce the risks of a nuclear holocaust and to make progress on global nuclear disarmament.
Such actions could include: taking all nuclear weapons off launch-on-warning and high alert; adopting policies never to initiate nuclear war (no-first-use); agreeing not to develop new nuclear weapons systems; removing all forward-based nuclear weapons (such as U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe); commencing negotiations on the phased reduction and elimination of nuclear stockpiles; and reducing nuclear weapons budgets in order to release resources for climate protection and phase-out of fossil fuels..
International Day of Families
2018 theme: Families and inclusive societies
International Day of Families highlights the importance of families as basic units of society and provides an opportunity for governments, organizations and individuals to promote understanding of the problems, strengths and needs of families.
May 15 - 17
2nd AI for Good Global Summit, Geneva, Switzerland
2018 theme: Accelerating progress towards the SDGs
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The action-oriented 2018 summit will identify practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on our planet. The summit will continue to formulate strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits.
International Day of Light
The International Day of Light is a global initiative that provides a platform for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications and energy. The broad theme of light will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – education, equality and peace. The day follows on from the International Year of Light
World Telecommunication & Information Society Day
2018 theme: Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All
This is a day to reflect on information and communications technology (ICT) which is linking people the world over, as Peter Russell says, in much the same way as are the billions of cells in our own brain. The Day aims to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other ICTs can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide between rich and poor. This years theme will focus on the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to accelerate the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In December 2017, the UN General Assembly agreed by consensus to mark May 20 as World Bee Day. Every year on this day, the attention of the global public will be drawn to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators. People will be reminded of the importance of bees for the entire humanity and invited to take concrete action to preserve and protect them. The resolution was co-sponsored by 115 UN Member States, including the USA, Canada, China, the Russian Federation, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and all the European Union Member States.
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
This UN day marks the important role that dialogue between different cultures plays in the overall development of society. A new global consciousness is in process of emerging. While human unity and the oneness of life are greatly valued; the immense diversity of human cultures is also held in high esteem.
Following the events of 11 September 2001, the 185 member states of UNESCO unanimously adopted the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. The Declaration reflects the conviction that respect for cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue is one of the surest guarantees of development and peace.
May 24 - 26
The Will to Serve, European Spirituality in Economics and Society (SPES) Institute Annual Conference, Leuven, Belgium
The European SPES Institute, the Institute of Leadership and Social Ethics (ILSE), and the Damien Center will organize the annual European SPES Conference entitled “The Will to Serve: Inspiring Models of Servant Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship.”
Inspiring social and economic leaders are able to transform a conflictual human settlement into a collaborative and caring human community. Can we induce from their ‘way of doing things’ a model of civic entrepreneurship and leadership that can inspire people in profit, non-profit and public organizations? To what extent is the “will to serve” compatible with the will to maximize profit or the will to gain economic, political or religious power? Do different spiritual traditions create different models and examples of servant leadership? This conference is part of the Damien project of the European SPES Institute, a research project that focuses on spirituality in action through servant leadership and social entrepreneurship.
International Day of UN Peacekeepers
2018 theme: UN Peacekeepers: 70 Years of Service and Sacrifice
A Day to honour the men and women serving in UN peacekeeping duties. A new role is emerging for the military in all nations: peacekeeping in times of heightened tension. Check out the UN website for the Day to deepen your understanding of the UN's peacekeeping activities.
World Invocation Day & Festival of Humanity
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 will be achieved.
This is the third of three major spiritual festivals in the annual cycle of full moon festivals described by Alice Bailey (Easter - Wesak and the Festival of Humanity). As well as being the Festival of Humanity and the Christ's own Festival, the day is celebrated as World Invocation Day when people of goodwill are encouraged to use the world prayer, the Great Invocation, to invoke universal qualities of Light Love and Spiritual Purpose. God's purpose for humanity, the divine Plan, works out as human beings respond, organically and often unconsciously, to these higher energies.
In a special World Invocation Day radio broadcast in 1952, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of US President Franklin D Roosevelt, and one of the pioneering visionaries behind the universal Declaration of Human Rights, recorded the Great Invocation. Listen to this broadcast here.
Register for the annual global Vigil when people around the world sign up for specific times to ensure that the Great Invocation is sounded every 15 minutes of the 24 hours of World Invocation Day - details at www.meditationvigil.org
Youth Dialogue at the United Nations
As part of his commitment to bring the United Nations closer to young people, the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajcák will host a Youth Dialogue on 30 May 2018. This one-day event seeks to listen to the ideas, needs and concerns of young people on bridging education and skills training with employment in the 21st century, as well as on the prevention of radicalization.
World No-Tobacco Day
Theme for 2018: Tobacco Breaks Hearts – choose health not tobacco
Since May 1999, the World Health Organisation has been co-ordinating an international political process inspired by the idea that every tobacco related death is preventable. Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke.
The WHO (World Health Organization) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control which came into force in 2005 has become one of the most widely embraced treaties in UN history with over 180 parties.