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Please Hold in the Light
May 2023

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.

Daily Reminder
Check out a daily reminder of these events to hold in the light. Share this daily reminder with others by including the app on your website.

Sustainable Development Goals & Climate Change 
These International Days and events reflect important themes in the mobilization of energies to:
  • Build right relations in the world by addressing serious problems of poverty, inequality and climate change through practical actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030
  • engaging people of goodwill all over the world in a common movement.
2023 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.
Please link in from wherever you are. More information at:

In May the Caucus will meet subjectively on May 18, 2.00 - 3.15pm. The physical meeting has been cancelled as a precautionary measure due to the Coronavirus. All are invited to link together for 30 minutes in mind and heart with a particular focus on supporting the UN during this difficult time.

May Please Hold These Events in the Light

May 1
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.

May 1
Global Love Day

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.

May 2
World Tuna Day

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.
Between 2014 and 2019 sites where tuna were overfished significantly declined as a result of action by the Common Oceans ABNJ Program.

May 3
World Press Freedom Day

2023 Theme: Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.
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
2023 year marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. Three decades have passed since it was proclaimed in 1993, in which we have seen substantial progress towards achieving a free press and freedom of expression around the world. The proliferation of independent media in many countries and the rise of digital technologies have enabled the free flow of information. However, media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack, which impacts the fulfillment of other human rights.
A major conference on Press Freedom will be held at UN HQ in New York, and a variety of events will be held in New York City to mark the 30th anniversary of the Day from 1 - 3 May.

May 3 - 4
Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs

2023 Theme: Science, technology and innovation for accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels
This eighth annual STI Forum wil take place at UN Headquarters in New York. Discussions will take place on science, technology and innovation cooperation in support of the SDGs.

May 5
United Nations Vesak Day

Vesak is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world. It was on the Day of Vesak two and a half millennia ago, in the year 623 B.C., that the Buddha was born. It was also on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha attained enlightenment, and it was on the Day of Vesak that the Buddha in his eightieth year passed away.
Since 1999, following a decision by the General Assembly, the United Nations has observed Vesak as an acknowledgement of the contribution which Buddhism continues to play to the spirituality of humanity. A special event is held at UN Headquarters in New York, and at selected UN offices.
The Buddha's message of compassion is timeless. In our interconnected world, there can be no peace as long as others are in peril; no security as long as others suffer deprivation; no sustainable future until all members of our human family enjoy their human rights. On this Day of Vesak, let us celebrate the wisdom of Lord Buddha by taking action for others with a strong spirit of solidarity. António Guterres, Secretary-General.

May 5
Wesak Festival; Taurus Full Moon

Generally known as the Festival of the Buddha, the Ageless Wisdom considers Wesak to be the highpoint of the spiritual year when forces of enlightenment associated with the Buddha pour into the planet.
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 met.

May 7
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, now in its fourteenth year, is observed in over 35 countries on the first Sunday in May. It is a day of celebration and action for permaculture around the world.

May 7 - 13
International Compost Awareness Week

Activities are held in a number of countries to raise awareness about the importance of composting in building healthy soils.

May 7 - 10
The Education World Forum, London, UK

2023 theme: New Beginnings: Nurturing Learning Culture, Building Resilience, Promoting Sustainability. Stronger, Bolder, Better Education by Design
The Education World Forum is the world's largest gathering of education and skills ministers. It comprises three days of insight and inspiration from pioneers, policymakers, and experts, with many sessions given by education ministers themselves as part of an honest assessment of education's common issues and challenges.

May 10
International Day of Argania

2023 theme: The Argan tree, symbol of resilience
The argan tree (Argania spinosa) is a native species of the sub-Saharan region of Morocco, in the southwest of the country, which grows in arid and semiarid areas. It’s the defining species of a woodland ecosystem, also known as Arganeraie, which is rich in endemic flora. It is resilient to a harsh environment under water scarcity, risk of erosion and poor soils.
The world-renowned argan oil is extracted from the seeds and has multiple applications, especially in traditional and complementary medicine and in the culinary and cosmetic industries.

May 12 - 13
Global Elementary Model United Nations, Dallas, TX, USA

Every year since 1990 Elementary and Middle School children from several countries have participated 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.

May 10
International Day of Plant Health

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development.

May 13
World Fair Trade Day

2023 theme: Reimagining the Economy: Regenerative Businesses for the Future.
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.
This World Fair Trade Day, let's come together to reimagine the economy and create a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Whether you're a citizen, enterprise, activist, influencer, or policy maker, there are steps you can take to promote Fair Trade practices and support the WFTO's mission.

May 13
World Migratory Bird Day

2023 theme: Water: Sustaining Bird Life
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.

May 15
International Day of Families

2023 theme: Demographic Trends and Families
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 - 21
7th UN Global Road Saftey Week

2023 theme: Streets for Life: #Rethink Mobility
Road traffic injures are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, with around 1.3 million people killed and as many as 50 million people injured each year. For people aged 5-29 years, there is no greater threat to their lives. Globally, 1 of every 4 deaths occur among pedestrians and cyclists.
This 7th observance of the Week calls for policy makers to #RethinkMobility in order to make walking, cycling, and public transport safe and convenient so that people can make the shift to active, sustainable mobility. This modal shift is one of the recommendations in the Global Plan for the Decade of Action 2021-2030.

May 16
International Day of Light

The International Day of Light is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point 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.

May 16
International Day of Living Together in Peace

In 2018 the UN first observed this annual Day. Particularly through programs on the Culture of Peace, the UN is constantly seeking to mobilize efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.

May 17
World Telecommunication & Information Society Day

2023 theme: Empowering the least developed countries through information and communication technologies.
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 implementation of international standards for information and communication technologies.

May 18 - 19
High-Level Meeting on the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework, UN Headquarters, New York

the Sendai Framework is a UN globally agreed plan and approach to Disaster Risk Reduction covering the period 2015 - 2030. During this High-Level meeting of the General Assembly, Member States, UN agencies and other stakeholders will reflect on the findings and recomendations of a Midterm Review. It aims to examine context shifts and emerging issues since 2015, and identify course corrections and new initiatives to more effectively address the systemic nature of risk, and realise the outcomes and goals of the Sendai Framework.

May 19 - 21
G7 Hiroshima Summit

The annual meeting of leaders of the G7 (France, US, UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada plus the European Council and the European Commission) takes place in Hiroshima, Japan.

May 20
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. Proposed by Slovenia, 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.

May 21
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 21
International Tea Day

Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water…. Tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries and is the main means of subsistence for millions of poor families, who live in a number of least developed countries. This UN day aims to foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

May 22
International Day for Biological Diversity

2023 Theme: From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity
The International Day for Biological Diversity has gained global prominence through the efforts of the United Nations, governments, indigenous peoples and local communities, non-governmental organizations and concerned individuals. Each has highlighted their innovative solutions to the biodiversity crisis to the forefront of global conversations on sustainable development.
Although every Biodiversity Day carries its own special significance, this year’s global celebrations bring with it a renewed sense of hope with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP 15 in 2022.

May 23
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

Obstetric fistula, one of the most serious and tragic injuries that can occur during childbirth, is preventable. It can largely be avoided by delaying the age of first pregnancy; the cessation of harmful traditional practices; and timely access to obstetric care.

May 29
International Day of UN Peacekeepers

A Day to honour those 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.

May 30 - June 2
Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, UN HQ, New York

Organised under the auspices of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, this second session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent will be attended by stakeholders advancing the rights of people of African Descent, including member states, UN agencies, national human rights institutions, and organizations of people of African Descent. The Forum serves as a consultation mechanism of groups involved in improving the quality of life for people of African descent, contributing to elaborating a UN Declaration (and ultimately a legally binding instrument) on the promotion and full respect of the human rights of people of African Descent

May 31
World No-Tobacco Day

2023 Theme: Grow Food, 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.