Sustainable Development Goals & Climate Change
During International Days and major international conferences there is a special opportunity to serve in
the creation of right human relations. They help us to focus our purposeful thought and action in ways that highlight diversity and unity in an interdependent world.
As meditators we can symbolically stand together with all actively working in the spirit of the one humanity and the one life, 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:
- 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: http://www.spiritualcaucusun.org/
In December an online virtual gathering, including 30 minutes of silence, will be held on Thursday, December 21, from 2.00- 3.15 pm EDT with a particular focus on supporting the UN. Write for details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December Please Hold These Events in the Light
November 30 - December 12
UN Climate Change Conference, COP28, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
COP28 will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. The first Global Stocktake (GST) will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement. This will help align the efforts on climate action, including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress.
In addition to the 'Parties' to the UN Convention (governments) the Dubai conference will also be a hub for a vast network of events in-person and virtually focusing on the human will to transform relations with the natural world. Notable events include World Goodwill's Cycle of Conferences visualisation throughout the event
World AIDS Day
2023 theme: Let Communities Lead
The world can end AIDS, with communities leading the way. Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centred public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable.
In the 2023 World AIDS Report, Let Communities Lead, UNAIDS reveals that the world can end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, but only if communities are fully included and are sufficiently funded to lead the way. It highlights how underfunding and harmful barriers are holding back their lifesaving work and obstructing the end of AIDS.
UN Aids Day
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Although modern slavery is not defined in law, it is used as an umbrella term covering practices such as forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and human trafficking. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.
Modern slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across ethnic, cultural and religious lines. More than half (52 per cent) of all forced labour and a quarter of all forced marriages can be found in upper-middle income or high-income countries.
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
International Day for Persons with Disabilities
2023 theme: “United in action to rescue and achieve the SDGs for, with and by
persons with disabilities
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.
Given the multiple crises we are facing today, the world is not on track to reach numerous Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets by 2030. Preliminary findings from the forthcoming UN Disability and Development Report 2023 indicate that the world is even more off-track in meeting several SDGs for persons with disabilities.
World Futures Day
2023 theme: Building Resilient and Inclusive Societies
UNESCO's World Futures Day emphasizes the critical role of futures and foresight in building peaceful and inclusive societies. An event at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris will delve into the transformative power of futures thinking, fostering interdisciplinary dialogues, and collectively experiencing diverse futures to innovate the present. The discussion will focus on strengthening our social fabric amidst emerging technologies and exploring how futures literacy and foresight can be leveraged for societal transformation and impactful multilateralism.
International Day of Banks
Well-run national development banks can help countries develop financing options for Sustainable Development Goal-related investments. Such banks should be aligned with the Goals in a holistic way and be considered in integrated national financing frameworks. Collaboration between national development banks and multilateral banks, through co-financing or on-lending arrangements, can enhance Goal-related finance through the complementarity of international resources and local market knowledge.
December 4 - 6
Inter-Religious Convention, 2023, Johannesburg, South Africa
2023 theme: Faith change-makers: Affirming human dignity, justice, and freedom for all
Co-ordinated by partners of the international Faith to Action Network, the Convention will bring together members of different faiths and faith organizations, in collaboration with civil society, intergovernmental organizations, academia and knowledge institutions to strengthen the inherent dignity of all people.The event will concentrate on demonstrating interfaith action on advancing women’s rights and gender justice, faith partnering for justice and peace, and co-creating freedom of belief and inclusive communities
Opening Ceremony, 2024 International Year of Camelids
The UN will observe 2024 as International Year of Camelids. Facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the International Year will promote awareness
of the contribution camelids (including camels, llamas and alpacas) play in enriching the cultural and economic lives of millions of people. Camelids hold cultural and ecological significance, particularly in desert and mountain regions, where they are integral part of the livelihoods and traditional ways of life of indigenous communities.
World Soil Day
Theme 2023: Soil and water, a source of life
Our planet’s survival depends on the precious link between soil and water. Over 95 percent of our food originates from these two fundamental resources. Soil water, vital for nutrient absorption by plants, binds our ecosystems together. This symbiotic relationship is the foundation of our agricultural systems.
International Volunteer Day
2023 theme: the power of collective action: if everyone did
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.
If everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Imagine more than eight billion of us volunteering. Limitless possibilities for sustainable development – food and education for everyone, clean environment and good health, inclusive and peaceful societies, and more.
International Anti-Corruption Day
International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
2023 Theme: “A Living Force in World Society: The Legacy of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
First observed in 2015, this Day seeks, this year, to raise awareness of the 75th anniversary of the 1948 Genocide Convention (adopted on 9 December) and its role in combating and preventing the crime of genocide, as defined in the Convention, and to commemorate and honour its victims.
Human Rights Day
2023 Theme: Freedom, Equality and Justice for All
10 December 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of one of the world's most groundbreaking global pledges: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This landmark document enshrines the inalienable rights that everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
International Mountains Day
2023 Theme: Restoring mountain ecosystems
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.
The 2023 theme is a chance to increase awareness about the relevance of mountain ecosystems and call for nature-based solutions, best practices and investments that build resilience, reduce vulnerability and increase the ability of mountains to adapt to daily threats and extreme climatic events.
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.
International Universal Health Coverage Day
2023 Theme: Health for All: Time for Action
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.
December 13 - 15
Golbal Refugee Forum 2023, UN HQ, Geneva
Held every four years, the Forum is the world’s largest international gathering on refugees. It is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees: Ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries of origin.
The 2023 Forum is co-convened by five States – Colombia, France, Japan, Jordan and Uganda, and co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and UNHCR.
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
2023 Theme: Restore Truth through Silence as Action.
The fourth annual Global Silent Minute will take place at 9pm GMT on 21 December 2022. Participate by ringing a bell and observing a minute of silence.
This year the Annual Global Silent Minute will pause in a shared minute to restore Truth through Silence as Action – the Truth that dwells within the Heart of Humanity.
Far from being an abstraction, Truth is the realisation of cosmic laws based on direct experience accumulated in the chalice of Humanity through us.
As we live our holistic identity within the three worlds – of spirit, soul and personality – we recognise the synthesis of the One Life and the necessity to cut through to the Truth at the heart of everything.
In 2023 we recognised the need to re-orient to the compass of Truth through Silence.
Full Moon — Capricorn
Theme: Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back
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 Day of Epidemic Preparedness
Major infectious diseases and epidemics have devastating impacts on human lives, wreaking havoc on long-term social and economic development. Global health crises threaten to overwhelm already overstretched health systems, disrupt global supply chains and cause disproportionate devastation of the livelihoods of people, including women and children, and the economies of the poorest and most vulnerable countries.… It is important to strengthen epidemic prevention by applying lessons learned on epidemic management and how to prevent the stoppage of basic services, and to raise the level of preparedness in order to have the earliest and most adequate response to any epidemic that may arise, and recognizing also the value of an integrated One Health approach that fosters integration of human health, animal health and plant health, as well as environmental and other relevant sectors.