UN Days December

Individuals and groups can help to make UN Days much more effective through meditation and prayer. On this site there is a meditation in support of the UN Days and information on ways to participate in the UN Days & Years Meditation Initiative

Here you will find information on the UN designated Days during December 2012. Information provided includes some background, links to the UN site on the Day (where such a site exists), together with key thoughts for reflection.

1 December


On this World AIDS Day we are filled with both hope and concern. Hope because significant progress has been made towards universal access. New HIV infections have dropped. Fewer children are born with HIV. And more than 4 million people are on treatment.

Concern because 28 years into the epidemic the virus continues to make inroads into new populations; stigma and discrimination continue to undermine efforts to turn back the epidemic. The violation of human rights of people living with HIV, women and girls, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users and sex workers must end. - Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Director.


On World AIDS Day there is a real need for ‘healers of the world’ to unite. Imagine the healing energy that could be released through a day of coordinated inner work. Imagine how this would enhance and empower all of the outer efforts in AIDS education and research in complementary and orthodox therapies that are focussed around this special Day.


Visit the World Aids Day pages and the World AIDS Campaign web site.

Key thought for reflection:

In the 25 years since the first case was reported, AIDS has changed the world. It has killed 25 million people, and infected 40 million more. It has inflicted the single greatest reversal in the history of human development. In other words, it has become the greatest challenge of our generation.

For far too long, the world was in denial. But over the past 10 years, attitudes have changed. The world has started to take the fight against AIDS as seriously as it deserves.

Kofi Annan

2 December

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is held on December 2nd to mark the anniversary of the adoption in 1949 of the UN Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and the Exploitation of Others.

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. And yet despite the efforts of the international community to combat this abhorrent practice, it is still widely prevalent in all its insidious forms, old and new. The list is painfully long and includes traditional chattel slavery; bonded labour; serfdom; and forced labour, including of children, women and migrants, and often for the purpose of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and ritualistic and religious reasons....

Human beings are not property. 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

Slavery continues to be practiced in many forms - from traditional chattel slavery to child labour, migrant labour and forced labour. The process of creating a new civilisation centred on Aquarian values of human rights and freedoms requires that all forms of slavery be eliminated.

Most consider slavery to be a problem of the past. In fact there are more slaves today than at any other time in history - 27 million by UN estimates. More slaves than the entire population of Netherlands or Australia; nearly as many as Canada….

Anti-Slavery International (ASI) is actively working today for the freedom of millions of people worldwide trapped in slavery or slavery-like practices. For further information visit the ASI web site. See also the excellent Free the Slaves movement web site and the Slavery Day page at the Dag Hammarskjold Library.

Key thought for reflection:

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

3 December


International Day of Disabled Persons has been observed by the United Nations on December 3rd since 1992. The date marks the anniversary of the General Assembly's adoption of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons.

The Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of disabled persons in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.


For further information visit the United Nations Persons with Disabilities web site for the Day; also the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library page on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

The need to be seen as a unique human being is strong in all of us. But [people] with disabilities are often not given a chance to make themselves known as the unique human beings they are: the moment their disability is spotted ... they are boxed and labeled according to the prejudices of the viewer.

Anuradha Vittachi

5 December

In 1985 the UN General Assembly designated that December 5th be observed with an annual celebration by communities, peoples and governments of all that is achieved around the world by volunteers.

This is 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 Millennium Development Goals. Over the years, rallies, parades, community volunteering projects, environmental awareness, free medical care and advocacy campaigns have all featured prominently on IVD.

In 2009 Volunteer Day is tied with preparations for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in a 'Volunteer for Our Planet' campaign.

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.


Visit the United Nations Volunteers and World Volunteer Web sites for more information, and check out the World Volunteer site on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

Selfless workers ... set the pace for others. Have faith in the goodness of human beings and tap them at the right point. They will respond.

Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne

7 December

In 1996 the UN General Assembly proclaimed December 7th as International Civil Aviation Day to highlight and advance the benefits of civil aviation. The Convention on International Civil Aviation was signed on December 5th, 1944. It established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) - now a specialised agency of the United Nations - as the regulatory body to oversee safety and efficiency in world-wide air travel.

Visit the ICAO website on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

The year 2000 bridges two extraordinary periods in the history of mankind: the second millennium with its astounding discoveries and the third millennium with its unbounded possibilities.

The evolution of air travel captures well this visceral drive to continually expand our horizons. It also points the way to achieving our greatest dreams.

Leonardo da Vinci's sketches of birds in flight, the hot air balloon of the Montgolfier brothers, the daring exploits of Otto Lilienthal in his glider and the first powered flight of the Wright brothers illustrate the formidable imaginative capacity of the individual. The jet aircraft and modern, satellite-based air navigation systems testify to the creative power of collective effort.

At the crossroads of two centuries, we are beginning to understand the forces that are shaping our future. Fundamentally, everything is becoming interconnected. Issues are global, whether economic, social, humanitarian or environmental.

The Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944 remains a sound flight plan for the future of air transport. The words of its inspiring preamble can guide us in other human endeavours:

"... to promote that cooperation between nations and peoples upon which the peace of the world depends ... to create and preserve friendship and understanding ..."

This is a call to humanize the globalization process we have embarked upon, to allow for worldly pursuits while caring for humans and the planet that supports us.

Dr. Assad Kotaite

9 December


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.

Visit UN Library site and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime site on the Day and Transparency International


10 December

10 December 2009 marks the 61st anniversary of the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document envisions a world in which all might enjoy rights and freedoms without discrimination. It has set the agenda for international actions on the human rights theme and as such has been enormously influential in world affairs. The Declaration is a deeply spiritual document. Much of the history of the past sixty years has been shaped by the struggle to bring this vision to birth in communities and nations the world-over.

The Declaration of Human Rights remains one of the most significant documents to have been drafted by the international community. It forms a fundamental focal point in the evolution of a new civilisation and it is right and appropriate that the anniversary of its signing should be celebrated. Human Rights Day also provides an opportunity to assess how far there is to go in the creation of a global civilisation centred on human rights, freedoms and a sense of human unity.

Human Rights Day is observed as a Day to celebrate how much has been achieved in building right relationships, and to reflect on how much remains to be done. As Mary Robinson, former UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights, has said: We now have in hand the tools with which to work together for the complete elimination of racism, racial discrimination and intolerance. Let us use them.

Visit the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights site on the Day as well as the  UN site.    See also the Rights and Humanity site.

Key thought for reflection:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

                                                                                         Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

11 December

International Mountain Day was first observed by the United Nations in 2003, and was a result of the global focus on mountains that emerged during the International Year of Mountains in 2002. The Day seeks to foster recognition of the vital role that mountains play in our lives, and the responsibility to protect mountain environments.

Mountain Partnership, the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, has been created. The Partnership includes 49 governments, 16 intergovernmental agencies, and 90 major people's groups.

Visit the International Mountain Day web site.

Key thought for reflection:

Asia's most sacred mountain stands in a remote corner of Western Tibet, isolated by rugged terrain from all but a handful of outsiders. Its name is Mount Kailas, its reputation near-legendary. To pilgrims of four religions this 22,028-foot rock pyramid is the throne of the gods and the 'Navel of the Earth', a place where the divine takes earthly form. For well over a thousand years, pilgrims have journeyed here to pay homage to the mountain's mystery, circumambulating it in an ancient ritual of devotion that continues to this day.

Russell Johnson & Kerry Moran, The Sacred Mountain of Tibet, p. 9

18 December

International Migrants Day celebrates the the rich diversity of cultures and peoples making up the one human family. In the twenty-first century growing numbers are leaving their lands of birth to live in different countries. Two percent of the world's population, over 150 million people, live outside of their homelands.

In Kofi Annan's words, the Day recognizes the huge, but often unseen, contribution that millions of migrants make to the economies, societies and cultural advancement of countries throughout the world. It is also an opportunity to identify the challenges migration presents for the future.

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 neighbourhood.

Yet the experience of diversity brings challenges. Kofi Annan:

The fate of many migrants lies in stark contrast to the aspirations reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights norms and labour conventions. They tend to be paid low wages, receive few or no benefits, and work without even minimal safety and health protection. They are often subject to discrimination and marginalization. Furthermore, unauthorized migration exposes migrants to shocking levels of abuse and exploitation. The scourge of trafficking, in particular, has placed many in horrific situations - especially women and children.

International Migrants Day is held on December 18 because it was on this date in 1990 that the UN adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. The Day was first observed in 2000.

See the UN site on the Day. Also visit the December 18 site and see the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library page on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

Migrants not only help enrich the fabric of their host countries. Many of them are also unsung heroes of their home countries and families. In addition to sending valuable remittances, they bring valuable skills, knowledge and experience when they return.

Kofi Annan

20 December


Convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing was important for combating poverty, the General Assembly, in 2005,  proclaimed 20 December as  International Human Solidarity Day.

In the Millennium Declaration world leaders identified Solidarity as one of the fundamental values essential to international relations in the twenty-first century and emphasized  that “Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most.” In the context of globalization and the challenge of growing inequality, the strengthening of international solidarity and cooperation is indispensable for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.

See UN site on the Day.


Key thought for reflection:

To recognize the social solidarity of the human family brings with it the responsibility to build on what makes us one. This means promoting effectively and without exception the equal dignity of all as human beings endowed with certain fundamental and inalienable human rights. This touches all aspects of our individual life, as well as our life in the family, in the community in which we live, an in the world. 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


What's New

2011 is being observed by United Nations as: Year of Forests; Year for People of African Descent; Year of Youth : Dialogue & Mutual Understanding (August 12 - August 11 2011); Year of Chemistry. Check out meditations for all these themes and a full list of dates for the 2011 UN calendar.

Email list- receive a monthly message 'Please Hold in the Light' - highlighting forthcoming UN Days and major international conferences. write: info@intuition-in-service.org


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