UN Days April

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 April 2013. Information provided includes some backround, links to the UN site on the Day (where such a site exists), together with key thoughts for reflection.



Acting on a proposal from the State of Qatar, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day on December 18, 2007.

The World Autism Awareness Day resolution encourages all Member States to take measures to raise awareness about autism throughout society and to encourage early diagnosis and early intervention. It further expresses deep concern at the prevalence and high rate of autism in children in all regions of the world and the consequent developmental challenges.

Autism has been referred to as a growing global health crisis. It is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the world - more children being diagnosed with autism than diabetes, cancer and AIDS combined.

More at the Autism Day site. See also the UN site on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

Together, let us travel this road toward a more caring and inclusive world.

Ban Ki-moon



Mine Awareness Day will be observed for the sixth time this year to raise awareness about landmines and unexploded ordnance (grenades, missiles etc.) and progress towards their eradication.


In 84 countries unexploded landmines and other ordnance kill or maim between 15 and 20 thousand annually. While this is a serious problem, the situation is improving – in the late 1990’s an estimated 26,000 lives were lost each year.


Unlike so many of the global problems of our day, this one can be solved. April 4 is an opportunity to remind the world that there is light at the end of the tunnel. – Max Gaylard, Director, United Nations Mine Action Service

My fervent hope is that the world will one day be free from the threats caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war.  But it will take concerted collective efforts on all fronts to realize this goal.  On this International Day, let us renew our commitment to carrying out this life-saving work. - Ban Ki-moon

More information on the Day and from the UN Mine Action site.

Year 2013 Theme: Control Your Blood Pressure

World Health Day, which is observed on 7 April every year, seeks to raise global awareness of a specific area of concern in world health issues. The day also marks the launch of long-term advocacy programmes by the World Health Organisation. Although high blood pressure affects over one in three adults worldwide, it remains largely undiagnosed and hidden. It leads to more than nine million deaths every year, including about half of all deaths due to heart disease and stroke.



World Health Day provides an opportunity for meditators to hold in mind the network of all true healers in the world – from orthodox and complementary disciplines. May they be blessed in their work; and may all people of goodwill be empowered in their efforts to foster health in mind, body, spirit – individual and society.

For more information on the Day visit World Health Day web site. For an inspiring perspective on global health issues watch this video by Dr Abdallah Daar.

Key thought for reflection:

What kind of world is it when you can live to 80 but if you are born in the rural setting in some parts of Africa you get to live to half of that age? This is the mother of all ethical challenges and this is a very strong motivating force. The other point is that I’ve been so impressed with the motivation and engagement of young people who are really going to move this along. I’m hugely optimistic because you see all this attention and funding on global health especially on Africa and new products in the pipeline, it’s really a golden era for global health.

Dr. Peter Singer

7 April


The international community's failure to act in response to the Rwandan Genocide has generated a growing will to stop any future acts of genocide. In order to act in advance of any possible genocide a position of Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide has been established by the United Nations. The Special Adviser's task includes acting as an early-warning mechanism regarding potential situations that could result in genocide.

Every year the UN marks the genocide in Rwanda with a series of events at UN Headquarters, often highlighting the Rwandan people's path towards reconcialiation.

More information here.

22 April


2013 Theme: The Face of Climate Change
Acting on a proposal from the government of Bolivia, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 (already observed in several countries as Earth Day) as International Day of Mother Earth on April 22, 2009.

The resolution acknowledges that the Earth and its ecosystems are our home, and affirms the conviction of member states that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social, and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth. It recognizes that the phrase Mother Earth is used in a number of countries and regions to refer to planet earth, and that it reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit. The observance of International Mother Earth Day also marks international respect for the perspective and concerns of indigenous peoples.

In applauding adoption of the resolution, Bolivian President, Evo Morales Ayma called for the twenty-first century to be dedicated to protecting and supporting Mother Earth and her ecosystems.  While the 2oth century has been called the 'century of human rights', he hoped that the new era would be known as the 'century of the rights of Mother earth'.

More information here.

Key thought for reflection:

It is only right that we, as sisters and brothers, take care of Mother Earth […] as Mother Earth, after all sustains […] our very humanity.

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former President, UN General Assembly



By observing this Day throughout the world UNESCO draws the continuing attention of the international community "to the culture of writing and the importance of creativity ...."

"Ever since the invention of printing, books have been the medium of choice, providing an opening onto the imaginative world of others and enabling us to enrich ourselves with their creativity."
Federico Mayor

The day is celebrated on 23 April for a number of reasons.

More information on the day here and here

Key thought for reflection:

A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.

John Milton

Year 2013 Theme: Invest in the Future. Defeat Malaria

Malaria is a deadly mosquito-born disease, afflicting as many as half a billion people in 106 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Every 45 seconds a child dies from malaria - and all of these deaths are preventable.

Today, for the first time ever, a partnership of over 500 UN agencies, governments, organisations and stakeholders are working together in the Rollback Malaria Partnership. Throughout the past decade, as a result of this effort, deaths from malaria have steadily declined. It is a distinct possibility that by 2015 the Millenium Development Goal 6 will be met, ensuring that malaria is no longer a major cause of mortality and no longer a barrier to social and economic development and growth anywhere in the world.

More information on the day here and here . See also the WHO site on the Day.

What's New

2013 2013 is being observed by United Nations as: Year of Water Cooperation and Year of Quinoa. Check out meditations  for these themes and a full list of dates for the 2013 UN calendar.

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