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Please Hold in the Light
July 2016

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:
  • End poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030 through practical actions to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals
  • engaging people of goodwill all over the world in a common movement.
2016 United Nations International Year
2017 United Nations International Year
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:

In July the Spiritual Caucus is on a summer break.

July Please Hold These Events in the Light

July 1 - 3
International Fair Trade Towns Conference, Baskinta, Lebanon

This is the 10th International Fair Trade Towns Conference, and the first to be held in the Global South. Lebanon has 9 officially registered Fair Trade towns and the conference theme Building Bridges Through Fair Trade will explore how these towns have created links between different sectors and faith groups in Lebanon.
Fair Trade Towns agree to a set of five goals to encourage local shops and traders to feature and support Fair Trade products and practices.

July 2
International Day of Co-operatives

Theme 2016: Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future
The cooperative movement encompassing financial organisations, farmers, producers and consumers is playing an incredible role in pioneering new ethics and values in business and economics. This Day, which is observed on the first Saturday of July, marks the formation in 1895 of the International Cooperative Alliance. Today the Alliance includes 292 member organizations (many of which include thousands of cooperatives) from 95 countries, representing one billion individuals worldwide.
We forget how widespread cooperative enterprises are: co-ops employ over 250 million people worldwide (almost 12% of the entire employed population in G20 countries); in Kenya 63% of the population derive their livelihood from cooperatives; in the US 30,000 cooperatives provide over 2 million jobs; in 2007 consumer cooperatives in Denmark held 36.4% of the consumer retail market; 91% of all Japanese farmers are members of cooperatives.
This years Day fosters the recognition that Co-ops have a strong role to play in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. Tell co-ops in your area about the International Day, celebrate and show how your co-op supports the Sustainable Development Goals by acting on the co-operative principles and values!
The basis of co-operation lies primarily in mutual responsibility. - Agni Yoga, Heart, 559

July 3
International Bag Free Day

Every minute of every day 1 million non-biodegradeable single use plastic bags are in use around the world. Each bag is used on average for only 25 minutes and, depending on the type of plastic, it takes between 100 to 500 years for it to disintegrate.
On Bag Free Day citizens groups around the world campaign for single use plastic bags to be banned.

July 6 - 8
7th Global Forum on Urban Resilience & Adaptation, Bonn, Germany

Each year, Resilient Cities brings together over 400 experts and practitioners from around the world to discuss urban resilience and climate change adaptation. The program of 2016 focuses on a variety of key topics including inclusive resilience strategies, financing the resilient city, measuring and monitoring progress, resilience and adaptation planning, governance and collaboration, resource management, and resilient infrastructure. The Forum is organized by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

July 11
World Population Day

Theme 2016: Investing in Teenage Girls
The unprecedented decrease in mortality that began to accelerate in the more developed parts of the world in the nineteenth century and expanded to all the world in the twentieth century is one of the major achievements of humanity. By one estimate, life expectancy at birth increased from 30 to 67 years between 1800 and 2005, leading to a rapid growth of the population: from 1 billion in 1810 to over 7 billion in 2012.
Teenage girls around the world face enormous challenges. Many are considered by their communities or parents to be ready for marriage and motherhood. Many are forced from school, damaging their future prospects.… Yet when teenage girls are empowered, when they know about their rights and are given the tools to succeed, they become agents of positive change in their communities.

July 11 - 20
UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

This Forum has been established as the main UN body to review progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. Its task is to provide political leadership, guidance and recommendations on the 2030 Agenda's implementation and follow-up; keep track of progress; spur coherent policies informed by evidence, science and country experiences; as well as address new and emerging issues.
All member states and UN agencies will participate in the Forum in addition to representatives of 'Major Groups and other Stakeholders' (including Women, Indigenous Peoples, NGOs, local authorities, workers and trade unions, farmers, science and technology, business and industry). Government Ministers will meet for 3 days at the Forum. Every 4 years the High Level Forum will include a summit of heads of state.
The Sustainable Development Goals can only become a focus for the living will in humanity if and as people of goodwill in every sector of society are inspired to contribute towards their achievement. Governments will only act to the extent that people of goodwill push them to act. This Forum is important because it includes representatives of civil society as well as governments.

July 12 - 13
UN General Assembly High Level Debate: UN@70: Human Rights at the Centre of the Global Agenda

High-level representatives fropm governments, UN agencies, Human Rights organisations, civil society, think tanks and business will participate in this major focus on human rights.
It will be an opportunity to take an overarching view of the human rights situation in our world today, reinforce the foundations for human rights and how action to realize human rights can contribute to progress on peace and security and sustainable development and vice-versa, as well as highlight ways to strengthen the United Nations' role in this area and identify actions to unleash rapid improvements in the realization of human rights globally.

July 15
World Youth Skills Day

In 2013 the UN estimates that 74.5 million youth around the world were unemployed. One in five young people (125 million)who are working live in extreme poverty (less than US$1 per day).
First observed in 2015, World Youth Skills Day focuses attention on the importance of young people learning skills as a way of reducing unemployment and under-employment.

July 17 - 22
UN Conference on Trade and Development, Nairobi, Kenya

The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was established in 1964 as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly. Its purpose is to promote trade, investment and development in developing countries. Every 4 years Ministers and some Heads of State from the 194 member states of UNCTAD meet together with international organizations, NGOs and others to determine policy and priorities.
The UNCTAD Conference facilitates dialogue on the world's key and emerging issues affecting the global economy, discusses policy options and formulates global policy responses.

July 18
Nelson Mandela International Day.

This official United Nations Day has been observed every year on Nelson Mandela's birthday since 2010.
The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. "Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day."

July 19
Full Moon - Cancer

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 Millenium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved.

July 20 - 22
Nexus Global Youth Summit on Innovative Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, New York, USA

This is the sixth in an annual series of global gatherings bringing together millennial wealth holders, social entrepreneurs, and impact investors.. The event aims to inspire new leadership, greater generosity, and more strategic investing in social and environmental projects. Part of the event will be held at UN Headquarters.
Nexus is a global movement of 2000+ young people from over 70 countries working to increase and improve philanthropy and impact investing by bridging communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship.

July 21
UN Secretary-General Election: Security Council Process Begins

Candidates for the position of UN Secretary-General (a new term begins in January 2017) have been presenting their case to the General Assembly (and answering questions from NGOs) and there have been public dialogues in New York and London. Currently there are 11 candidates. On July 21 the Security Council begins its deliberations - new candidates can still be nominated by governments.

July 28
World Hepatitis Day

2016 theme: Know hepatitis. Act now.
Hepatitis remains largely unknown as a health threat in many regions of the world - yet around 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B and around 150 million people chronically infected with hepatitis C. Many of those who are infected with the disease have no symptoms, often for decades, until they develop chronic liver disease. Approximately 1.4 million people die every year as a result of the virus, commonly from cirrhosis and liver cancer.
A new global strategy focuses on global targets to be met by 2020: 30% reduction in new cases of hepatitis B and C; 10% reduction in mortality.

July 30
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally.

July 30
International Day of Friendship

United Nations International Day of Friendship highlights friendship as the fundamental glue uniting people across diverse cultures and backgrounds; an essential requirement in building of Cultures of Peace and fundamental to the work of the United Nations.
The idea of friendship permeates the work and ideals of the United Nations. The Charter proclaims that one of the purposes of the Organization is "to develop friendly relations among nations". These same words appear in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UNESCO’s Constitution speaks of the need for peace based not just on the "political and economic arrangements of governments", but on the "intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind". And the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative aims to improve cooperation and understanding among nations and peoples across cultures and religions, including to counter the forces that fuel extremism. Ban Ki-moon