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Please Hold in the Light
May 2019

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 Sustainable Development Goals
  • engaging people of goodwill all over the world in a common movement.
2019 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. 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 May the Spiritual Caucus will gather for silence in the UN Meditation Room at UN Headquarters, New York on May 2 from 12.45 - 1.15 PM and for silence and discussion at the World Goodwill offices, 866 UN Plaza, New York on May 16 from 1.30 - 2.45 PM.

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.

April 4
UN Task Force on Water and Climate, Geneva

This is the tenth meeting of the UN Task Force that is required under the Water Convention to oversee and plan for activities related to adaptation to climate change in transboundary basins, including flood and drought management. The meeting will be preceded by a Global Workshop on Ecosystem-based Adaptation.

May 2 - 3
World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, Baku, Azerbaijan

2019 Theme: Building dialogue into action against discrimination, inequality and violent conflict
This is the 5th World Forum organized by UNESCO. It will examine the critical role of Intercultural Dialogue as an actionable strategy for building human solidarity and helping localities counter the violence and discrimination in diverse communities.

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.

May 2 - 4
SDG Global Festival of Action, Bonn, Germany

This Festival in Bonn is an annual event for SDG Campaigners and associated partners. The aim is to inspire fresh creativity and innovation to scale up and broaden the global movement to take action for the SDGs.

May 3
World Press Freedom Day

2019 Theme: Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation
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
This year's theme discusses current challenges faced by media in elections, along with the media’s potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes.

May 5
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 tenth 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 5 - 11
International Compost Awareness Week

2019 theme: Cool the Climate - Compost!
Activities are held in a number of countries to raise awareness about the importance of composting in building healthy soils.

May 6 - 10
UN Forum on Forests

UN Member States meet every 2 years in the Forum on Forests to support the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end.
In 2017 The General Assembly adopted a UN Strategic Plan for Forests, 2017 - 2030.The Plan includes 6 Global Forest Goals to sustainably manage forests and halt deforestation and forest degradation. This years Forum will exchange experiences in implementing these goals.

May 11
World Migratory Bird Day

2019 theme: Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!
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).

May 11
World Fair Trade Day

2019 theme: Fair Trade Innovates
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 15
International Day of Families

2019 theme: Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13
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 - 16
Forum on Science, Technology & Innovation for the SDGs, UN HQ, New York

2019 Theme: STI for ensuring inclusiveness and equality, with a special focus on SDGs 4, 8, 10, 13, and 16
Every year the UN's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) convenes this forum to facilitate interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks between leading participants in STI for the SDGs.

May 16 - 18
Spirituality in Society and the Professions: European Spirituality in Economics and Society (SPES) Institute Annual Conference, Waterford, Ireland

The European SPES Institute, and the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education, Ireland will organize this annual European SPES Conference. Participants will explore themes raised in the recent publication: Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions.

May 16
International Day of Light / Dark Skies for All Project

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.
The International Astronomical Union will be celebrating the day by focussing on the dark Skies for All Project, raising awareness of light pollution and the importance of preserving dark and quiet skies.

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 16 - 19
Architecture, Culture & Spirituality Forum, Taliesin West, AZ, US

2019 theme: Continuity in/of Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality
The Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum provides an international forum for scholarship, education, practice, and advocacy regarding the cultural and spiritual significance of the built environment. ACSF believes that the design and experience of the built environment can assist the spiritual development of humanity in service of addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

May 17
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 17
World Telecommunication & Information Society Day

2019 theme: Bridging the standardization gap
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 17 - 18
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 18
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 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. 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.This year the day will be observed by the UN General Assembly with a High-Level Event on Culture and Sustainable Development.

May 22
International Day for Biological Diversity

2019 Theme: Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health
Nowadays, we have access to a greater variety of food than your parents or your grandparents once did. But even as the offerings become more diverse, the global diet as a whole — what people actually eat — is becoming more homogenized, and this is a dangerous thing. This year’s celebrations of the International Day for Biological Diversity focus on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health.

May 28 - 31
AI for Global Good Summit,Geneva, Switzerland

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. Orgaized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) it attracts leading thinkers in AI from business, government, academia and civil society.

May 29
International Day of UN Peacekeepers

2019 theme: Protecting Civilians, Protecting Peace
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.

May 31
World No-Tobacco Day

Theme for 2019: Tobacco and Lung Health
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.