UN Days September

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

8 September


Observed on September 8th every year, International Literacy Day seeks to focus public opinion on the major global problem of illiteracy.

Approximately one in six adults lacks minimum literacy skills.

This special UNESCO Day celebrates one of the most basic movements in the education and uplift of consciousness: the movement to promote support and teach adult literacy programs. Large numbers of professionals and volunteers work in every country helping adults in their efforts to learn to read and write.

"Literacy contributes to peace as it brings people closer to attaining individual freedoms and better understanding the world, as well as preventing or resolving conflict."

On this day every year UNESCO awards international literacy prizes to the most innovative and inspiring literacy programmes. In the year 2012 six main prizes were awarded. The prizes reward exceptional work in the fight against illiteracy, and the innumerable women and men around the world who work hard every day, often anonymously under difficult conditions, to teach people to read and write.

For further information visit the Literacy Day web site.

Key thought for reflection:

Literacy, in its simplest definition, of being able to read, write and count, has become an indispensable tool for every human being in present day society, even for his or her mere survival. But even this basic skill is denied to a quarter of the world's population over fifteen years of age.

Illiteracy does not exist in a vacuum. It is an integral part of a vicious cycle of under-development including mass poverty, disease, ignorance, lack of basic human rights and non-satisfaction of basic human needs. The cumulative effect of these factors is social conflict and war.

We should not overlook the fact that illiteracy and its related factors have a global dimension. While the appalling conditions of under-development are found in non-industrialised and poor countries the causes or roots of such conditions may be traced to industrialised and rich countries. Therefore, we have to look at the problem globally, while we formulate strategies and implement our programmes both locally and globally.

A.T. Ariyaratne

19 December


This day draws attention to the growing bonds of co-operation emerging between countries of the South – developing countries.  Recent developments in South-South cooperation have taken the form of increased volumes of South-South trade, movements toward regional integration, South-South flows of foreign direct investment and various forms of development assistance.

Further information


15 September



In November 2007 the UN General Assembly agreed unanimously to observe an annual International Day of Democracy on September 15  - beginning in 2008. The year 2008 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies

It was noted that democracy is a universal value based on the freely-expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems, and their full participation in all aspects of life. And the Assembly was careful to affirm that while democracies share common features, there is no single model of democracy and that democracy does not belong to any country or region.

The Day seeks to encourage and promote democratization, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

More information at: UN site ;   See also the World Movement for Democracy 


16 September

Ozone Day has been celebrated since 1994 on September 16th, the date on which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Protocol.

There is an excellent summary of the science and international politics of ozone protection on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozone Secretariat . The Montreal Protocol is one of the most remarkable achievements of international action to protect the environment. It is perhaps the most succesful environmental treaties today and is often cited as a model for climate change action.

In 2007, on the 20th anniversary of the treatyUN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said: Twenty years later, the developed world has nearly phased out these [hazardous ozone] substances. And their use in the developing world has plummeted by over 80 percent.

The ozone molecule (O3) consists of 3 oxygen atoms. There is a layer of ozone molecules in the upper atmosphere which absorbs most of the harmful UV-B radiation from the sun and screens out lethal UV-C radiation. The problem is that the ozone layer has been depleted as a result of human activity.

Halo-carbons, notably CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halons are gases which have been extensively used in a variety of products - refrigerators, air conditioners, foams, spray cans, solvents and fire extinguishers. "When CFCs finally break apart in the atmosphere and release chlorine atoms they cause ozone depletion. Bromine atoms released by halons have the same effect." Where the layer is depleted the incidence of skin cancers rises, there are more eye cataracts, immune systems are weakened, animals are adversely effected, ocean eco-systems are damaged, fishing yields are reduced, plant yields are reduced, and plastics are damaged. The problem is worst over the Antarctic where there is an ozone hole.

Under the Montreal Protocol governments agreed to a series of measures to reduce the production and use of CFCs and several Halons. Since 1987 the Protocol has been adjusted five times to accelerate the phase-out schedules as a result of further scientific assessment. But while most governments have ratified the Protocol, ratification of the amendments with their stronger control measures lags behind. And governments are not legally bound until they ratify both the Protocol and the Amendments.

See the UN site on Ozone Day; check out the special Facebook page; and visit the UNEP site on Ozone Day.

Key thought for reflection:

By tackling the greenhouse effect the world's nations will have to learn many new modes of collaborative endeavor. The lessons will stand us in good stead as we then move to confront other major issues of One Earth living

Norman Myers

21 September

This Day provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of Peace on a shared date. It is also observed by the UN as an annual day of non-violence and cease fire.

International Day of Peace has, in previous years, been celebrated on the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly. Since 2002, the Day has been observed every year on September 21st.


Intuition in Service and the UN Days & Years Meditation Initiative is again sponsoring a 24 hour global meditation Vigil. Details and registration to use the Great Invocation or a world prayer of your choice at specific times here.

This global meditation vigil is a contribution to a wider focus on meditation and prayer Be the Peace being co-ordinated by a network of religious and spiritual organisations. Be The Peace is inspired by the vision of co-creating the Largest Globally-Synchronized Meditation and Prayer for Peace in human history.

The UN calls for people around the world to observe one minute of silence at 12 noon on the 21st as a contribution to the building of a culture of peace.

Check out the many wonderful sites on this special Peace Day and its celebration:
A dedicated Peace Day site

United Nations Peace Day Site
Culture of Peace Initiative
Peace One Day

Key thoughts for reflection:

Goodwill is the active principle of peace.

Alice Bailey

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationships, their oneness with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka [the Supreme Being], and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

Black Elk

Peace begins in our own hearts in our willingness to skillfully state what we want with and from our family, friends, and co-workers. Through skillful communication we develop pathways of resolution so that all feel themselves respected in the circle of life. So just as the apparent conflict imitates the dynamic of family abuse, so too does the individual resolution to speak truth, to call for what is beneficial and to support communication and negotiation, create the ability for all to see that this is but one planet, one atmosphere that we share and that if one person on one side of the world is harmed, we all suffer. So it is the wise people who apply their citizenship responsibly as a voice for peace and resolution.

Ven. Ugvwiyuhi Dhyani Ywahoo

22 - 30 September
WORLD MARITIME DAY (during the week)



World Maritime Day is celebrated every year to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety and the marine environment, and to draw attention to an aspect of the work of the United Nations International Maritime Organisation (IMO). While the Day is usually observed in the last week of September, the exact date is left to individual governments.

Visit the IMO website for further information on the Day.

Key thought for reflection:

There is only one body of water on our planet Earth, constantly traveling from one river to one lake to one ocean .... The sea is a bonus for us all, soothing climates, washing beaches, feeding animals and people, connecting nations together, pregnant with resources of all kinds, but still sensitive and vulnerable

Jacques-Yves Cousteau

What's New

2016  is being observed by United Nations as International Year of Pulses. Check out a meditation  for this theme and a full list of dates for the 2016 UN calendar.

To receive monthly list of international events to 'Hold in the Light' by email write: info@intuition-in-service.org with 'Newsletter' in subject line.


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