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Please Hold in the Light
May 2017

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.
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 May the Spiritual Caucus will gather for silence in the UN Meditation Room at UN Headquarters, New York on May 4 from 12.45 - 1.15 PM and for silence and discussion at the Bahai UN Office, 866 UN Plaza, New York on May 18 from 1.30 - 2.45 PM.

May Please Hold These Events in the Light

April 24 - May 5
UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

2017 theme: Tenth Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: measures taken to implement the Declaration
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), established at the promptings of indigenous peoples, is a high-level UN body charged to advise the Economic and Social Council on all matters dealing with indigenous issues related to economic and social development, culture, environment, education, health and human rights. Annual meetings of the Forum provide a focal point for discussion of indigenous peoples issues at the UN - they are attended by representatives of large numbers of indigenous peoples groups from around the world who also meet together in a Global Caucus, a Womens Caucus and a Youth Caucus. During the Forum there is a strong presence of Indigenous Peoples at UN Headquarters.
This year the UN General Assembly will carry out two important consultations during the Forum (April 26 & May 3) on the possible measures to enable the participation of indigenous peoples at the UN.

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. This year the day will also see major demonstrations throughout the US, on such themes as 'A Day Without Immigrants' and 'Nothing is Over, Forward We Continue'; as well as demonstrations in France during the lead-up to the important French election. 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.

May 3
World Press Freedom Day

2017 Theme: Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies
It is easy for those of us who live in liberal democracies to take a relatively free press for granted. 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

May 7
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, observed in over 35 countries on the first Sunday in May, is a day of celebration and action for permaculture around the world.

May 7 - 13
International Compost Awareness Week

Activities are held in a number of countries to raise awareness about the importance of composting in building healthy soils.

May 10
World Migratory Bird Day

2017 theme: Their Future is Our Future: A healthy planet for migratory birds and people.
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 weekend each May, 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 10
Wesak Festival & Full Moon Taurus

Generally known as the Festival of the Buddha, Wesak marks 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 12 - 13
Global Elementary Model United Nations, Dallas, TX, USA

Every year since 1990 Elementary and Middle School children from several countries participate 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 13
World Fair Trade Day

2017 theme: Human Chains for Fair Trade and the Planet
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 the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

May 15
International Day of Families

2017 theme: Families, education and well-being
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 17
World Telecommunication & Information Society Day

2017 theme: Big Data for Big Impact
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 aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information to assist human development.

May 17
UN General Assembly High Level Event on Innovation and Connectivity

This High Level Event at the General Assembly will focus on ways in which technology innovations are impacting work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

May 19 - 21
Contemplative Science & Management International Conference, Budapest, Hungary

This Transdisciplinary Conference is being jointly organised by The European SPES Institute (an international network of individuals and organizations promoting spirituality in economic and social life); Mind & Life Europe; and the The Business Ethics Center of Corvinus University of Budapest. The conference invites scholars and practitioners devoted to exploring and presenting new developments in contemplative inquiry related to Buddhist Economics, Well-Being, Social Transformation, Mindful Organizations, and Ecological Worldview in the management context.

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.

May 22 - 24
Global Soil Week Conference, Berlin, Germany

This international gathering of 'soil experts' will, through a series of workshops, be exploring the role of soils and land policies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

May 28 - June 2
International Conference on Spirituality, Culture & Sustainable Tourism, Kota Kinnabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Held in conjunction with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, this conference seeks to provide a forum for global research, collaboration and mentoring in the new field of spiritual tourism studies and their impact on sustainable development. One of the goals is to gain knowledge from the last custodians of indigenous (local) knowledge.

May 29
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

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 2017: Tobacco – a threat to development
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.