UN Days November

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 November 2011. Information provided includes some backround, links to the UN site on the Day (where such a site exists), together with key thoughts for reflection.

6 November


In earlier times it was not uncommon for the environment to be damaged in warfare – crops were destroyed, water supplies poisoned and forests set alight. Modern technologies mean that environmental damage from wars can be far more serious and the consequences more long-term. The damage often extends beyond the limits of national territories and the present generation.

More information from the Dag Hammarskjold Library.

Key thought for reflection

This Day reminds us that it is not only people who suffer in times of war. As universal ethics condition the conscience of humanity, there is a growing sense of responsibility for the well-being of all life on Earth: minerals, plants & animals.

14 November


Years 2009-2013 theme: Diabetes Education and Prevention


World Diabetes Day was first observed as a United Nations Day in 2008 - it has been marked by the World Health Organisation and the International Diabetes Federation since 1991 as a day to raise global awareness of diabetes.

Over 240 million  people are today living with diabetes - and it is one of the most common diseases of childhood.

The 2007 campaign aims to raise awareness of the rising prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. Early diagnosis and early education are crucial to reducing complications and saving lives. The healthcare community, educators, parents and guardians must join forces to help children living with diabetes, prevent the condition in those at risk, and avoid unnecessary death and disability.

More at www.worlddiabetesday.org.

16 November

Following the United Nations Year for Tolerance in 1995, the International Day for Tolerance was first observed on 16 November 1996. Activities on the Day seek to promote recognition of the need for tolerance and understanding of the practise of tolerance.

"Building tolerance and trust in diverse communities is not done overnight, but takes time and commitment. Building tolerance requires access to education. Intolerance is often rooted in ignorance and fear: fear of the unknown, of the "other", other cultures, religions and nations. Intolerance is also closely linked to an exaggerated sense of self-worth and pride: notions taught and learned at an early age. Therefore in coming years, we need to place greater emphasis on educating children about tolerance, human rights and fundamental freedoms·.

"An International Day for Tolerance can serve as an annual occasion for tolerance education as well as for wider social and political reflection and debate on local and global problems of intolerance. It is a moment to take stock of the progress made during the year and to propose fresh policies to close remaining gaps."

More information from the UN Dag Hammarskjold Library. See also Tolerance.org and UN Alliance of Civilisations project.

Key thoughts for reflection:

If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking 100 years ahead, make people aware. By sowing seed once, you will harvest once. By planting a tree, you will harvest ten-fold. By opening the minds of people, you will harvest 100-fold.

Chinese proverb

Whether we like it or not, we have all been born on this earth as part of one great human family. Rich or poor, educated or uneducated, belonging to one nation or another, to one religion or another, adhering to this ideology or that, ultimately each of us is just a human being like everyone else: we all desire happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, each of us has an equal right to pursue these goals.

Today's world requires that we accept the oneness of humanity. In the past, isolated communities could afford to think of one another as fundamentally separate and even existed in total isolation. Nowadays, however, events in one part of the world eventually affect the entire planet. Therefore we have to treat each major local problem as a global concern from the moment it begins. We can no longer invoke the national, racial or ideological barriers that separate us without destructive repercussion. In the context of our new interdependence, considering the interests of others is clearly the best form of self-interest.

I view this fact as a source of hope. The necessity for cooperation can only strengthen mankind, because it helps us recognise that the most secure foundation for the new world order is not simply broader political and economic alliances, but rather each individual's genuine practice of love and compassion. For a better, happier, more stable and civilised future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brother- and sister-hood....

H.H. The Dalai Lama


20 November

Universal Children's Day is usually held on 20 November, the date on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989). Some countries celebrate the Day on different dates. The Day was first recommended by the General Assembly in 1954 when it was envisaged as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children and of active promotion of the welfare of the world's children.

Visit the UNICEF website for information on a vast array of initiatives for children and see the Dag Hammarskjold Library page on the Day..

Key thoughts for reflection:

A child's mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

attributed to Confucius

Every child is a unique human being who deserves to be seen without preconceptions.

Anuradha Vittachi

We stand, I believe, on the threshold of a new era. It is within our power - as never before in history - to shoulder a collective responsibility for the welfare of all children in all circumstances in all countries. This is now a matter of great urgency. The necessary international structures and network of communications are already in place. All it needs now is political will. And courage.

Sir Richard Attenborough

20 November


observed on the third Sunday of November


Worldwide, over 3,000 people are killed and 100,000 injured every day on the road. The price in terms of human loss, grief and care is immeasurable.

The Day of Remembrance responds to the great need of road crash victims for public recognition, which is so readily given to victims of other types of disaster. It also acknowledges the work of all those involved in the aftermath of a crash - fire, police and ambulance personnel, doctors, nurses and counsellors.

See the World Health Organisation Guide on the Day. More at roadpeace.org


20 November

In 1989, 20 November was proclaimed Africa Industrialisation Day by the UN General Assembly. The Day is intended to mobilise the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa.

Key thought for reflection:

Africa's present is a very difficult one but not a bleak one. For despite the privations, despite the political upheavals and instability, and despite the communal conflicts, the African people have not despaired of overcoming their difficulties. Our people have a dogged optimism of the heart that has seen them through many an adversity in their long history. They most assuredly do not now accept the present state of affairs as a permanent one and they rightly have no belief in it. But if they are to continue in this spirit, then our leadership in all its principal branches must also in its turn rise to the height of our problems.

President Olusegun Obasanjo

21 November

Since 1996, World Television Day has been celebrated each year on 21st November. The Day aims to encourage global exchanges of television programmes focussing on such issues as peace, co-operation and development.

Every year, around the time of the Day, a United Nations World Television Forum is held at UN Headquarters in New York. This brings together senior leaders from television and broadcasting worldwide.

For more information visit the UNESCO Communication site and check out the information on the 2003 World Television Day.

Key thought for reflection:

Electronic circuitry is orientalizing the West. The contained, the distinct, the separate, our Western legacy - are being replaced by the flowing, the unified, the fused.

Marshall McLuhan

25 November

In 1999, at the instigation of the Dominican Republic, the United Nations declared November 25th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This Day has been marked by activists since 1981. It is the date on which three Mirabal sisters were brutally assassinated in the Dominican Republic in 1961.

Worldwide, a quarter of all women are raped during their lifetime. Depending on the country, 25 to 75 percent of women are regularly beaten at home. Over 120 million women have undergone female genital mutilation. Rape has devastated women, girls and families in recent conflicts in Rwanda, Cambodia, Liberia, Peru, Somalia, Uganda and the former Yugoslavia.

'We need to say, "No more and never again" ', states Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). 'If we commit ourselves to creating a world free from violence against women and girls, our children will say we stopped the most universal and unpunished crime of all time against half the people of the earth.'

Visit the UNIFEM website (also here)for more information on the Day, and check out the Amnesty International campaign Stop Violence Against Women. See also Dag Hammarskjold Library.

Key thought for reflection:

We must turn towards encouraging a more human, loving standard of behaviour instead of relationships steeped in aggression, competition, exploitation.

Petra Kelly

29 November

On 29 November, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine. Since 1977 this date, November 29th, has been observed by the United Nations, and by Member States, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In December 1999 the General Assembly requested Member States to continue to give wide publicity to the Day.

The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People promotes international support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of their rights, and for a peaceful settlement of the Palestine issue.

Visit the UN web site on the Palestine issue and the Dag Hammarskjold Library page on the Day. For news of inspiring peace initiatives in the region visit the websites of the Palestinian group Jerusalem Center for Women and the Israeli feminist peace organisation Bat Shalom. Together the two groups work as partners for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace through the Jerusalem Link, established in 1994. See also a review of literature on the alternative peace process known as the Geneva Accord . See also the outstanding site on the Spiral Dynamics work in the Middle East, Center for Human Emergence Middle East.

Key thought for reflection:

We women for peace fear the terrible consequences for both people and land of this seemingly endless struggle. We have no choice but to work together, to help ourselves and each other. We organize public activities and publish our political statements and visions; we raise our voices to those who are eager to learn and those who are not.

The majority of people are unaware of the reality of the situation. Both sides have very real fears and worries which must be addressed in order to convert them to feelings of trust and partnership. Together we have to reread our histories and to reexamine our political positions. We must have the ability to criticize and to put forward our vision of a common future. This is possible only through a readiness to rethink and the courage to take action.

It is also possible only if the international community upholds the responsibilities accruing from the peace process in order to help build trust, stability and economic development. The survival of one side is inextricably linked with the survival of the other: peace and security can only be assured when these concepts apply to both people. We appeal in particular to the people and governments in Europe and the United States since your countries and people bear a great portion of the responsibility for the misery we are currently experiencing. Help us to believe in a love of life, to believe in hope, because we cannot afford the luxury of hopelessness.

Dr. Sumaya Farhat Naser, Director, Jerusalem Center for Women


What's New

2011 is being observed by United Nations as: Year of Forests; Year for People of African Descent; Year of Youth : Dialogue & Mutual Understanding (August 12 - August 11 2011); Year of Chemistry. Check out meditations for all these themes and a full list of dates for the 2011 UN calendar.

Email list- receive a monthly message 'Please Hold in the Light' - highlighting forthcoming UN Days and major international conferences. write: info@intuition-in-service.org

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