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November - December 2019 UN Calendar of Events

3 November 2019

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

There are a few UN Observances in November and December which the Brahma Kumaris participate in. Kindly take a moment to read the calendar of events below. We encourage you to use these opportunities to share the message of peace, love, and respect within your communities. As always, we appreciate it if you send a brief report along with photographs.

 

 

International Day of Tolerance

Saturday, November 16

Since 1996, we’ve celebrated International Day For Tolerance on November 16. It was started by the UN General Assembly, with the goal of getting educational institutions and the general public to see tolerance as a staple of society. And it came after the United Nations declared a Year for Tolerance in 1995. Although we should be tolerant every day, it’s always good to have one occasion to remind us just how important tolerance is. The UN defines tolerance as respect, appreciation and acceptance of the diversity of the world’s cultures and all the ways that we are human. It is a human right to receive, and should be expected to be practiced by not just individuals, but groups and states.

 

Visit this website for more ideas.

 

You are encouraged to arrange events in your local area, in partnerships or otherwise, around this theme. We look forward to receiving news in writing and photos.

 

 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Life Is not A Car Part

Sunday, November 17

"The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is observed on the third Sunday of November each year. The Day has become an important tool in global efforts to reduce road casualties. It offers an opportunity for drawing attention to the scale of emotional and economic devastation caused by road crashes and for giving recognition to the suffering of road crash victims and the work of support and rescue services. Why is there a need for this day?

 

World Meditation Hour is a perfect time to serve these souls. You are welcome to organize a program having official personnel and/or family members of victims share their stories.

 

We look forward to receiving your reports, with photographs.
Watch video of last year:

 

 

Human Rights Day

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Tuesday, December 10

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has completed its 70th anniversary in 2019 and had a year-long campaign to highlight the importance and necessity of upholding human dignity.


However, the celebration is not over. We are still inspired to use this as an opportunity to have events that raise awareness and uplift the inner dignity of the soul.

 

Secretary General's message

 

You're invited to watch this excellent animation which can generate ideas when planning your event: What are the Universal Human Rights? Do send your brief reports along with photos.

 

 

Other UN Observances

You are welcome to participate in local events around other UN Observances:

 

20 November - Universal Children’s Day

25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

3 December - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

18 December - International Migrants Day

 

 

 

September - October BK UN Calendar of Events

14 September 2019

Dear National and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

This year, September is unusually busy at the United Nations as it marks not only the 74th. Session of the United Nations General Assembly and its numerous side events, but the Secretary General's Climate Action Summit taking place prior the General Debate.  Additionally, International Day of Peace, as you are aware, is also in September and the focus is also on Climate Action for Peace!


October this year is extra special as we will be celebrating 150th. anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.


We hope you organize events to celebrate these days and send news and photos. We invite you to please read below for more details.

 

 

International Day of Peace

The theme for this year's International Day of Peace is, Climate Action for Peace In observance of this day, the Brahma Kumaris is participating in a number of events:

 

Friday, September 20

Climate Action Youth Strike

Organized by New York City’s youth in Manhattan to demand radical improvement in the way our world’s governments are managing the climate crisis. The strike will specifically exert pressure on the September 23rd UN Climate Summit. The strike will address local, national, and global climate issues. The youths will call on governments to advance real, just climate solutions to achieve our goal of lowering CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030.


You are welcome to support this call for climate action should you become aware of such activity taking place in your community. However, it is vital that you do not take any political stance and that it is a general principle you are supporting.

 

photo credit: United Nations/Basma Baghal

 

Ringing of the Peace Bell

At the UN, The Secretary-General will celebrate the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell at 9:00am. This will be followed by Student Observance in the General Assembly Hall and observing a minute of silence at 12 noon on Friday, September 20. All global citizens are invited to join in solidarity at 12noon, NY time, for this minute of silence.

 

You can watch live here.

Ringing of the Peace Bell

 

students chalking peace on UN courtyard

 

Sunday, September 22

Earth Silence 2019: Holding Earth in the Light

On the eve of the United Nations Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, there will be a gathering in silence and contemplative sharing led by Christiana Figueres, co-Founder of Global Optimism. People of all faiths, or none, are welcome. The Brahma Kumaris will be attending. You may also want to consider hosting an event with similar interests.

 

Monday, September 23

Climate Action Summit

To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is hosting the 2019 Climate Action Summit on 23 September to meet the climate challenge. The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda.

 

Read more.

©UN Photo/Mark Garten

 

 

 

International Day of Non-violence

Wednesday, October 2

This year marks 150 years of the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. We encourage you to organize events in your community to celebrate this day. To get ideas, please click here

 

Calendar Dates

List of Upcoming UN International Days Supported by the Brahma Kumaris

International Day of Older Persons - October 1
International Day of Non-violence - October 2
World Mental Health Day - October 10
International Day of Tolerance - November 16
International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women - November 25
Human Rights Day - December 10

 

You are invited to note these dates and can even begin planning events. You will receive more information in upcoming newsletters.

 

 

 

 

July - August UN Newsletter

14 September 2019

Dear National and Center Coordinators, and Friends,

Greetings of love.

 

We extend a warm invitation for you to read details about the participation of BKUN team, New York, in the annual UN Department of Global Communications Civil Society Conference (UN CSC) and International Day of Youth.

 

 

Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, August 26-28

About 5,000 participants from over 100 countries attended the annual UN NGO conference held in Salt Lake City (SLC) in the magnificent Salt Palace Convention Center. The hospitality of Mayor Jackie Biskupski and the people of SLC was beyond words, giving everyone an unforgettable and memorable experience. A delegation of five represented the Brahma Kumaris at the conference:


Sabita Geer, Kinnari Murthy MD, Nik Lal, Shivani Dayal, and Valerie Still. The Brahma Kumaris co-organized a workshop entitled: "Re-imagining Communities from the Inside-out: Solutions from a faith-based perspective" and exhibit entitled, "Return to one: one planet, one spirt, one human family." You are invited to read more here.

 

the exhibit

during the workshop

a group of the participants

 

The BK team also participated in a number of other workshops. You are invited to read full report here.

 

 

Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities

Tuesday, August 13

A delegation of three youths represented the Brahma Kumaris at the International Youth Day event held at the UNHQ, NY. This is what the youths had to say: "Attending the United Nations International Youth Day event this year was inspiring, fostering a creative outlook on how we can each be catalysts for change in the fight for a sustainable future.

 

Read more.

 

 

 

 

UN Calendar of Events for July and August

12 September 2019

Dear National and Center Coordinators, and Friends,

Greetings of love.

 

July and August is an exciting time for the BKUN team in New York as it marks the participation of the annual UN Department of Global Communication Civil Society Conference. This time also reminds us of Nelson Mandela International Day, International Day of Youth and World Humanitarian Day. We extend a warm invitation for you to read details about these observances and encourage you to organize events to serve the community around you. We look forward to receiving news and photos of your programs.

 

 

 

 

Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, August 26-28

 

The Brahma Kumaris will be participating in this conference in two ways: 
* co-sponsoring a workshop on the topic, Re-imagining Communities from the Inside-out: Solutions from a Faith-based perspective 
* co-organizing an exhibit entitled, Return to one: one planet, one spirit, one human family.

 
A BK delegation of 6 will attend and participate.

 

 

Take Action. Inspire Change. Make Every Day A Mandela Day.

Thursday, July 18

 

Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact. So, in honor of his 67 years of public service, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the UN ask that you spend 67 minutes of your time helping others. 


To join or learn more about the campaign, click here.

 

 

Transforming Education

Monday, August 12

 

This year’s theme highlights efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. The aim is to focus on Sustainable Development Goal 4: “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” Read more.

 

This provides a good opportunity for you to hold conversations within the community.

 

 

Women Humanitarians

Monday, August 19

 

World Humanitarian Day 2019 is set to celebrate Women Humanitarians and their undying contribution in making the world a better place. 


This year’s campaign supports the recognition that women deserve in the strengthening of global humanitarian response. Read more.

 

As a women's led organization, we encourage you to co-organize events and we look forward to receiving news and photos.

 

 

 

 

E-notice: Time Sensitive: World Environment Day June 5

28 May 2019

Air Pollution: Faith Beat Pollution


June 5, 2019

Dear Serviceable Instruments,

Warm Greetings!

To all centers: Please share with us what you are doing for the World Environment Day and register your activities online. Faith For Earth office in Nairobi has created a special page as a Faith-based guide with simple steps for FBOs and faith followers to adopt when celebrating WED. More content will be added. WED celebrations do not have to be on the 5th of June only, but anytime around that date.

If we register all our activities, then the Faith For Earth will prepare a compendium of all submissions and publish it as “Faith Beat Pollution”. We would also appreciate it if you share with us all your registered activities: environment@brahmakumaris.org

For more information: Faith4Earth Website 
Social Media Hashtag: #Faith4Earth

Thank you and looking forward to receiving your reports/videos.

With Divine Remembrances, 
BK Green Team

 

 

A Call for reports: UN Global Road Safety Week - May 6-12

17 May 2019

Leadership for Road Safety


6th to 12th May 2019

Dear Serviceable Instruments,

Warm Greetings!

We are in process of collating news of events organized to mark the Global Road Safety Week. We encourage you to send us a brief report of any event at your local center. Kindly upload photographs or videos to the web and you may share the link for download with brief news to this email: bkroadsafety01@gmail.com.

Below are pictures of what took place in few places in India.

Ulhasnagar

Delhi

Chennai

Rajkot

Thank you and looking forward to receiving your reports/videos.

With Divine Remembrances, 
BK Kavita,

Borivali, Mumbai

 

 

Important UN Observances in May and June: Road Safety, Families, IDY and the Environment

21 April 2019

Dear National and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

In the upcoming month of May, BKUN is observing the 5th. Global Road Safety Week and International Day of Families. June brings International Day of Yoga and World Environment Day to the forefront of our calendars. Please find below more details about these observances. We look forward to receiving news and photos of events you are organizing and participating in.

 

May 6 - 12
Leadership for Road Safety: Save Lives Speak Up
Please refer to previous email sent with all details.
BK organizers are requested to share photos, video clips and brief details of their programs via email to bkroadsafety01@gmail.com

International Day of Families

Families and Climate Action: Focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)13 Climate Change


Wednesday, May 15

The United Nations is encouraging the global community to observe this day by focusing on families, family policies and major SDG13 targets, highlighting: 
* Inter-generational approach to sustainability. 
* Sustainable development education & practice. 
* Sustainable family farming from indigenous perspectives. 
* ‘Greening the blue’ and other good practices.

We invite you to work with various organizations in your local area to organize events. Please send us photos and a brief report. To learn more, visit UN website
If you need information on BKs and Climate Change relevant to the topic, please contact Sonja Ohlsson.

 

World Environment Day
Air Pollution: we cannot stop breathing but we can do something about the quality of our air.


Wednesday, June 5

This year’s World Environment Day provides an opportunity for each of us to combat air pollution around the world. Let's start from now. There are many things we can do: from cycling or walking to work and back, to recycling non-organic trash, to persuading local authorities to improve green spaces in your city.

Here are some other ideas: 
* Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. 
* Check efficiency ratings for home heating systems and cookstoves to use models that save money and protect health. 
* Never burn trash, as this contributes directly to air pollution.

Events that support this campaign can go a long way in reducing air pollution. Get ideas 
For queries on BKs and the environment, please contact Pratibha Patel.

Please send us your news in brief.

Posters that could be used

World Environment Day
Air Pollution: we cannot stop breathing but we can do something about the quality of our air.
Wednesday,International Day of Yoga
Yoga and Climate Change


Friday, June 21, 2019

The theme for this year's celebration at UN Head Quarters, New York, is Yoga and Climate Change. The Brahma Kumaris at the UN will be participating in an exhibition showcasing the connection between soul energy, solar energy and the Source, and also co-organize an event.

We encourage you to also plan events and share news and photos. You can visit the website of the Indian Permanent Mission at the UN, or the BKUN website for ideas. 
You are also welcome to contact us if you need more information: BK Sabita

 

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris
International Days


Kindly make a special note of these dates so that events can be organized to commemorate them. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog
You are welcome to browse the UN website for updates on themes on other information and international days you may wish to observe.

April 22 International Earth Day 
May 15 International Day of Families 
June 5 World Environment Day 
June 21 International Day of Yoga 
August 12 International Youth Day 
August 19 World Humanitarian Day 
September 21 International Day of Peace 
October 1 International Day of Older Persons 
October 2 International Day of Non-violence 
November 16 International Day of Tolerance 
November 18 World Day of Remebrance for Road Traffic Victims 
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 
December 10 Human Rights Day

International Weeks:
May 6 - 12 UN Global Road Safety Week

 
 

E-notice: UN Global Road Safety Week - May 6-12

14 April 2019

Leadership for Road Safety

6th to 12th May 2019

Dear Serviceable Instruments,

Warm Greetings!

Roads are like the arteries and veins of our planet; they transport us to places of purpose, and bring us back home! Let us celebrate the Fifth UN Global Road Safety Week by serving and honoring the personnel from the local government’s transport and traffic departments, they are the ones who work relentlessly to keep road crashes to a minimum. Their lives are dedicated to save lives! 
We invite you to join a Global Observance! And you could do this in simple, non-complicated ways! 
Kindly download and print the full letter as per your region: 
Russian and Baltic Region 
Latin and South America Region
Canada
USA 
Africa
Asia 
UK and European Region
Middle East 
Oceanic Region

BK organizers are requested to share photos, video clips and brief details of their programs via email to bkroadsafety01@gmail.com

With Divine Remembrances,
BK Gayatri, BK Kavita and the Road Safety Team

 

 

March 2019 UN Newsletter

6 April 2019

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

We invite you to read news of International Women's Day and the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63).

International Women's day Observances - Brahma Kumaris Australia


Tuesday, 5 March 2019
‘Calling all Women of Courage’, a morning retreat, took place at Brahma Kumaris Blue Mountains Retreat Centre. The sun shone and the gum trees sparkled as the 17 participants ranging in age from mid-20s to late 60s shared stories of courage and power. Meditation and reflection led to a writing, drawing and exploration of how virtues enhance and support the value of courage. All joined in singing a closing song of healing and hope. A delicious vegetarian lunch was appreciated by everyone.

Thursday, 7 March 2019
The history of IWD was shared through a PowerPoint presentation by Sr Jenny Forrest for about 20 people in the Spirituality Matters evening talk series. The presentation also included some of the history of the Brahma Kumaris as a women-led organisation. The main aim of IWD is achieving gender equality and Sr Jenny spoke about how awareness of ourselves and others as spiritual beings helps to achieve that. There was also a special display in the bookshop with self-empowering products in the IWD colour scheme of green, white and purple.

Saturday, 9 March 2019
‘Achieving Balance’, a day retreat for women, was held at the BK centre in Five Dock from 11am to 3:30pm. 45 women listened to a panel of speakers sharing diverse stories about their lives, the qualities that help them and the qualities that are needed for restoring balance in the world. 
Lalitha Nair spoke of her experience as a police office, lawyer and social worker and how doing her best in every task and advocating fairly for all enabled her to deal with intense situations and remain emotionally free. Jett Tatersall, a performer, producer and film screenwriter spoke of overcoming the fear of failure in a world where usually only ‘success’ is valued and celebrated. Ami Trivedi spoke of using different types of balance to respond to situations in the corporate world, saying that balance doesn’t have to mean between ‘bad’ and ‘good’ but between different types of positive qualities, which can both be different forms of expressing love. Bobbie Stanton led a practical but simple interactive exercise about dealing with the opposing energy of another person. 
Lively discussions over lunch were followed by a creative collage session where participants explored issues of ‘balance’ in their own lives – whether with family, health, work, ambitions, time, connection to nature etc. Three short meditations punctuated the day with moments of silence and reflection.

More than 5,200 women and men representing civil society, along with at least 1,850 delegates from governments, attended this year’s Commission on the Status of Women CSW63, the United Nations largest gathering on women’s rights issues. The theme for 2019 was :

Social Protection Systems, Public Services And Sustainable Infrastructure For Gender Equality
Representatives from the Brahma Kumaris also attended and participated in the various sessions.To read more on our conference experience and insights, click here...

Awareness to Action: Preparing Women to Advocate for Themselves
Paralell Event Monday, 11 March 2019
It is time that spirituality and values be given its rightful place as a formidable mechanism for personal change – which is a necessary first step in preparing women to relentlessly advocate for and access all other social protection systems, public services and infrastructures for gender equality.

The Brahma Kumaris at the United Nations invited the conference participants and delegates of the CSW63 to join them in an inclusive dialogue to explore how a spiritual and values based approach can serve as a mechanism to drive personal change and how women can be empowered to ‘do it for themselves’. More specifically, the aim was to : 
• Explore the factors of pride in gender identity 
• Arrive at new innovative methods to achieve the outcomes women wish to reinforce 
• Envisage the practical expression of self-respect and courage in claiming a share of power.

 

The session contained a balance of didactic input, personal reflection and engagement in small group discussions as well as meditation practices.

In the words of one of the participants : “Among the numerous and utterly interesting events currently taking place during the sixty-third session of the Commission on the Status of Women was an extremely compelling to me event, refreshingly enough without a panel and with little breaks for reflection through meditation.”

The initial didactic input addressed the theme of gender identity and how this has, on a cultural and social level, contributed significantly towards shaping and inextricably limiting an individual’s overall sense of identity. The spiritual trajectory was explained - of how identity developes awareness, which shapes attitude, which in turn builds vision, that influences decisions and ultimately is expressed as actions. Participants were thus encouraged to ‘go beyond gender’.

These underlying dynamics of decision making was explore as a tool for personal development. The audience were invited to rotate in pairs and discuss their reflections to the following questions :

• What intrinsic qualities do you identify in yourself that serve as a foundation in your decision-making process? How have those decisions further empowered you? Please share a story or an example. 
• How does gender identity play a role in upholding your intrinsic qualities during decision-making? 
• Now that I have tapped into my inner resources, how do I take awareness and bring it into action as I try to bring change into the world?

 

 

April UN Calendar of Events

29 March 2019

 

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

The calendar for April was sent out a few months ago and since a lot has been happening, this is a gentle reminder with the hope you can organize events to celebrate or honor these days: World Health Day and Mother Earth Day. Please find below more details and we look forward to receiving news and photos.

Sunday, April 7
Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere


The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health. This year, WHO will maintain a high-profile focus on Universal Health Coverage via a series of events, starting on World Health Day on 7 April, with global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all. Their slogan is “Health for All”.

As an organization that teaches the highest form of yoga and well-being, this venture is a wonderful way to share some of what we practice with our friends, contacts, and the general public. We encourage you to partner with WHO in your area, or any other organization, to host an event. 
Learn more.
As usual, we appreciate receiving your brief reports and photographs.

International Mother Earth Day
Protect Our Species
Monday, April 22
 
This year, UN is asking people to join their Protect our Species campaign. Their goals are to:
 
Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.
Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.
Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.
Events that support this campaign can be of great service to our world. Get ideas 
Please send us your news in brief.
 
 
 

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris
International Days


Kindly make a special note of these dates so that events can be organized to celebrate or honor them. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog
You are welcome to browse this website for updates on themes and other information and international days you may wish to observe.

February 11 International Day for Women and Girls in Science 
March 8 International Women's Day 
March 20 International Day of Happiness 
April 7 World Health Day 
April 22 International Earth Day 
May 15 International Day of Families 
June 5 World Environment Day 
June 21 International Day of Yoga 
August 12 International Youth Day 
August 19 World Humanitarian Day 
September 21 International Day of Peace 
October 1 International Day of Older Persons 
October 2 International Day of Non-violence 
November 16 International Day of Tolerance 
November 18 World Day of Remebrance for Road Traffic Victims 
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 
December 10 Human Rights Day

International Weeks:
February 1 - 7 World Interfaith Harmony Week 
May 4 - 10 UN Global Road Safety Week

 

 

Report on Brahma Kumaris Event during the 57th Session on the Commission for Social Development

20 March 2019

Side Event co-organized by Brahma Kumaris, Clarence B. Jones Institute for Social Advocacy, Unspoken Smiles Foundation, and International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN.
Tuesday February 19, 2019

Compassion in Action: Building a Coherent Society, Click here for Speakers

A side event with a different and refreshing approach took place where four storytellers got together for a workshop to address inequalities and challenges to social inclusion using compassion as a tool, calling everyone to be Compassion In Action (CIA) agents. So, what is compassion? As moderator, BK Sabita Geer, NGO representative of the Brahma Kumaris, stated, “it is feeling that comes from deep inside of us. Compassion generates love, kindness, support without boundaries; it is something to be felt and experienced individually.”

Download full report here.

 

 

January - February UN Newsletter

5 March 2019

 

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

We invite you to read news of World Interfaith Harmony Week and the 57th Session on the Commission for Social Development (CSocD57).

Sustainable Development through Interfaith Harmony
 
The Brahma Kumaris participated in a few events during this week:
 
Unity Earth hosted its "Lift Off" in New York City in support of the World Interfaith Harmony Week with a grand concert at the magnificent United Palace for Spiritual Arts. Read more
The United Nations organized an event, “Build Bridges Across Boundaries,” with a theme: We are all one. Read more.
The International Day of Yoga Committee and the Shinnyo Center co-hosted a sacred circle at the Shinnyo Center in NYC where faith leaders shared what spirituality means to them and how they see this benefitting the community they live and work in.
At the Shinnyo Center
 
At the Unity Earth "Lift off"
 
On February 2, an inter-faith dialogue initiated by the Brahma Kumaris Philippines and Uni Harmony Partners focused on few key questions as four guests shared personal narratives of how they have experienced harmony in their lives. Read more.
 
 
 

Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies


February 11 - 21, 2019

In the past, the Brahma Kumaris actively participated in this conference by attending events, being on panels, and submitting statements. This year, the BKs hosted an event entitled, Compassion to Action: Building A Coherent Society which took place on Tuesday, February 19 at the UNHQ. 
A delegation of 7 prepared a workshop and partnered with three organizations to discuss the topic - International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN, Clarence D. Jones Institute for Social Advocacy, and Unspoken Smiles Foundation. 
Read more about the event here.

Panelists
 
participants sharing
 
The BK delegation also attended a number of side events organized by various NGOs. Read report here..
 
Ongoing at the BKUN Office
 
Despite the freezing temperatures in the City, monthly 30 minutes lunchtime meditations are continuing with a small group, and is growing. Thursday evening meditation is also taking place regularly. There have been visits from Perry Ellis Inc., Contemplative Life, and other friends of the BKs. Additionally, one-on-one meditation course is offered to interested persons.
Contemplative Life and International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN members
 
A fountain during one of the freezing days in NYC.
 

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris


International Days
Kindly make a special note of these dates so that events can be organized to celebrate or honor them. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog
You are welcome to browse this website for updates on themes and other information and international days you may wish to observe.

February 11 International Day for Women and Girls in Science 
March 8 International Women's Day 
March 20 International Day of Happiness 
April 7 World Health Day 
April 22 International Earth Day 
May 15 International Day of Families 
June 5 World Environment Day 
June 21 International Day of Yoga 
August 12 International Youth Day 
August 19 World Humanitarian Day 
September 21 International Day of Peace 
October 1 International Day of Older Persons 
October 2 International Day of Non-violence 
November 16 International Day of Tolerance 
November 18 World Day of Remebrance for Road Traffic Victims 
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 
December 10 Human Rights Day

International Weeks:
February 1 - 7 World Interfaith Harmony Week 
May 4 - 10 UN Global Road Safety Week

 

 

 

February - April 2019 Calendar of Events

27 February 2019

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

The new year started with a buzz of activities amidst the beauty of silence that comes with January. 


February brings a flavor of diversity as we observe World Interfaith Harmony Week and the Commission for Social Development. The month of March reminds us of women's empowerment and happiness, while April draws our attention to health and Mother Earth.

 

Please find below more details and we encourage you to arrange programs to promote these observances.

 

 

Sustainable Development through Interfaith Harmony

At the core of all the faith systems and traditions is the recognition that we are all in this together and that we need to love and support one another to live in harmony and peace in an environmentally sustainable world.

 

Even though the dates are passed, events around the theme can still be organized. We look forward to receiving news with photos.

 

 

Addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion through fiscal, wage and social protection policies

February 11 - 21, 2019

For the past three years, the Brahma Kumaris has been actively participating in this conference by co-hosting events and submitting statements. This year, a delegation of 7 is preparing a workshop and an oral statement to address the theme of the conference. 


The topic for discussion is: Compassion to Action: Building A Coherent Society and will take place on Tuesday, February 19 at the UNHQ. 


The event is co-hosted by the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN, Clarence D. Jones Institute for Social Advocacy, and Unspoken Smiles Foundation.

 

You can learn more about the Commission from their website.

 

Think equal, build smart, innovate for change

Friday, March 8

The theme for this year's International Women's Day will focus on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure, which will echo CSW63 Priority theme

 

We look forward to receiving news, in writing and pictures, of event/s you have organized in your communities.

 

 

63rd. Commission on the Status of Women

Social Protection Systems, Public Services, and Sustainable Infrastructure for Gender Equality

March 11 -22.

This annual two weeks conference held at the UN Headquarters in New York, addresses current issues women face all around the world. The Brahma Kumaris has been participating for many years and this year, a delegation of 5 will be representing the Institution. A statement written by the Brahma Kumaris is published on the UN Women's website.


A workshop on the topic, Awareness to Action: Empowering Women to Advocate for Themselves, will be facilitated by the BK delegation on Monday, March 11.

 

To learn more on the commission, click here.

 

BK Delegation: Devindree Pillay, Nalishha Mehta, Sabita Geer, Kinnari Murthy, and Tina Agarwal.

 

Ten Billion Happy: Happiness Day. Every Day. For All of Humanity, by 2050.

Wednesday, March 20

Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. For the past two years, the Smurfs partnered with the UN and UNICEF to help advocate the awareness and importance of leading a life of happiness. 


We do hope you feel inspired to organize an event to celebrate Happiness.

You may read more about this day here and join the campaign.

 

 

Sunday, April 7

The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health. This year, WHO will maintain a high-profile focus on Universal Health Coverage via a series of events, starting on World Health Day on 7 April, with global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all. Their slogan is “Health for All”.

 

As an organization that teaches the highest form of yoga and well-being, this venture is a wonderful way to share some of what we practice with our friends, contacts, and the general public. We encourage you to partner with WHO in your area, or any other organization, to host an event.

 

Learn more.


As usual, we appreciate receiving your brief reports and photographs.

 

 

International Mother Earth Day

Protect Our Species

Monday, April 22

This year, UN is asking people to join their Protect our Species campaign. Their goals are to:

  • Educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of millions of species and the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.

  • Achieve major policy victories that protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats.

  • Build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values.

  • Encourage individual actions such as adopting plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use.

 

Events that support this campaign can be of great service to our world. Get ideas

 

Please send us your news in brief.

 

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris

International Days

Kindly make a special note of these dates so that events can be organized to celebrate or honor them. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog.


You are welcome to browse this website for updates on themes and other information and international days you may wish to observe.

 

February 11 International Day for Women and Girls in Science 
March 8 International Women's Day 
March 20 International Day of Happiness 
April 7 World Health Day 
April 22 International Earth Day 
May 15 International Day of Families 
June 5 World Environment Day 
June 21 International Day of Yoga 
August 12 International Youth Day 
August 19 World Humanitarian Day 
September 21 International Day of Peace 
October 1 International Day of Older Persons 
October 2 International Day of Non-violence 
November 16 International Day of Tolerance 
November 18 World Day of Remebrance for Road Traffic Victims 
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 
December 10 Human Rights Day

 

International Weeks:

February 1 - 7 World Interfaith Harmony Week 
May 4 - 10 UN Global Road Safety Week

 

 

UN Newsletter, December 2018

28 December 2018

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

 

Greetings of love. At this auspicious point of the confluence of the ending of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, may the wonders of life, and the secrets of time continue to elevate us in many divine ways.

 

There are a few UN Observances in November and December which the Brahma Kumaris participated in, such as World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and Human Rights Day. We invite you to take a moment to read news of that and other events that took place globally - Interfaith Conference, Climate Change Conference, Biodiversity Conference, and Women's Empowerment programs.

 

 

Sharm-El- Sheik, Egypt.

17th - 29th November

Governments, organizations and civil society meet under the theme of “Investing in Biodiversity for People and Planet". The small coastal city Sharm-El-Sheik at the tip of Sinai desert was fully decorated with road banners announcing the conference. Read more.

 

 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Road Have Stories

Sunday, November 18

A number of events have been organized by the Brahma Kumaris in collaboration with the Police Department and other social groups to honor those whom have been affected, including family members, and to stand in solidarity as candles were lit and moments of silence were observed. The Brahma Kumaris at the UN hosted an event at the Global Harmony House, the Regional Head Quarters of the BKs in the Americas. Read more here.


More news to follow in the next newsletter.

 

 

Human Rights Day

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Thursday, December 13

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018 and the International Day of Yoga Committee hosted an event at the Brahma Kumaris UN space to celebrate this wondrous achievement. Various Human Rights articles and their respective Spiritual Rights were discussed and each participant was gifted a copy of the booklet. It being the Holiday Season, focus was also drawn to the bringing the Light into our lives. 


The Brahma Kumaris also attended and participated in the grand celebration at the UN HQ. 

 

Secretary General's message

 

 

Interfaith Conference

Healing the Soul of the Nation

As a follow-up to the ‘Healing the Soul of the Nation Conferences’convened by the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) in Virginia, USA, and the University of Pennsylvania Office of the Chaplaincy, a one day conference was convened for religious leaders, lay leaders and community activists at the Respect Graduate School on Saturday, November 10. About 80 people participated. The Brahma Kumaris was invited to speak on one of the panels. Read full report.

 

 

Women's Empowerment Programs

Two very inspiring events were organized around women's empowerment, one in Sri Lanka with the theme, "Start where you are: the journey of women's emotions towards empowerment," and the other in South Africa called, African Women in Dialogue. 


Read details here. and here.

 

Climate Change Conference

As usual, the Brahma Kumaris delegation did outstanding work during this year's climate change conference held in Poland. You may have already read a lot about it however, here is the link for those who may not have read it: Enjoy.

 

 

 

A call for service news: World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims - November 30

6 December 2018

 

Roads Have Stories

 

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

We thank you for organizing events for World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. We encourage you to send us a brief report of the event. Kindly send any photographs or videos separately. Also, we appreciate it if you can send this no later than Friday, November 30 to this email: bkroadsafety01@gmail.com

 

With Divine Remembrances, 
BK Kavita

 

 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims - November 18

21 October 2018

Roads Have Stories

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

Please be reminded that Sunday, November 18 is the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. We invite BKs to host events using any of the following suggestions:

Peace Walks with banner and placards

Observing Silence and Lighting Candles at Public places like parks, streets, malls, railway stations, etc.

Awareness Talk followed by meditation at offices, police stations, prayer assembly, etc.

Display of Posters/Hoardings on Billboards, etc.

Resources Available: (Click here to download)

WDR Resources:

Flyer Content

Flyer Design

Banner Design

Affirmations for Meditation

Placards for Peace Walk

You are requested to share information of the World Day events planned and the news, photos and videos of concluded events to bkroadsafety01@gmail.com

With Divine Remembrances, 

BK Kavita

 

 

December UN Calendar of Events

15 October 2018

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

There are a few UN Observances in November and December which the Brahma Kumaris participate in. Kindly take a moment to read the calendar of events below. We encourage you to use these opportunities to share the message of peace, love, and respect within your communities. As always, we appreciate it if you send a brief report along with photographs.

 

 

International Day of Tolerance

Friday, November 16

The UN defines tolerance as respect, appreciate and acceptance of the diversity of the world’s cultures and all the ways that we are human. It is a human right to receive, and should be expected to be practiced by not just individuals, but groups and states.

 

The International Day for Tolerance supports the notion that education is a key factor in preventing intolerance across the human race. On this day, we are encouraged to educate and learn how to practice solidarity between ethnic, social and cultural groups. 

 

Read more

 

You are encouraged to arrange events in your local area, in partnerships or otherwise, around this theme. We look forward to receiving news in writing and photos.

 

World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Road Have Stories

Sunday, November 18

"The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) is observed on the third Sunday of November each year by an increasing number of countries on every continent around the world. This day is dedicated to remembering the many millions killed or injured in road crashes and their families and communities, as well as to pay tribute to the dedicated emergency crews, police and medical professionals who daily deal with the traumatic aftermath of road death and injury. Why is there a need for this day?"

 

World Meditation Hour is a perfect time to serve these souls. You are welcome to organize a program having official personnel and/or family members of victims share their stories. The BKs at the UN will be organizing an event in partnership with local organizations.

 

We look forward to receiving your reports, with photographs.

 

Human Rights Day

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Sunday, December 10

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018 and is having a year-long campaign to highlight the importance and necessity of upholding human dignity. 

 

Kindly use this opportunity to have events that raise awareness and uplift the inner dignity of the soul. 

 

Secretary General's message 

 

You're invited to watch this excellent animation which can generate ideas when planning your event: What are the Universal Human Rights? Do send your brief reports along with photos.

 

Other UN Observances

You are welcome to participate in local events around other UN Observances:

  • 20 November - Universal Children's Day

  • 25 November - International Day for the Elimination of Violence on Women

  • 3 December - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

  • 18 December - International Migrantk's Day

 
 

September UN Newsletter

14 October 2018

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

September comes with the annual UN General Assembly where Heads-of-states and their delegation, gather at the UNHQ, NY to discuss moving Agenda 2030 forward . During that intense period of time, the BKS at the UN had the privilege of the company of BK Jayanti, and also observed the International Day of Peace. We invite you to read news of that, and more.

Global Movement for the Culture of Peace

The Culture of Peace: A Credible Pathway to Sustaining Peace

As defined by the United Nations, “Culture of Peace” is a “set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations.” The Brahma Kumaris attended this year's event and also met with the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Dr. Rigoberta Menchu Tum. Dr. Tum is an activist in a small Mayan community in Guatemala. 

 

Read about the event 

 

Quote from the President of the GA: "we are closer now than we have ever been to an international system which can support and promote a culture of peace."

2018 Sustainable Investing Conference at the United Nations

ECOSOC Chambers, Tuesday, September 11

BK Gayatri Naraine led over 400 prominent investors in silent meditation, in remembrance of 9/11, to open the conference on Sustainable Investment. You are invited to read more here.

 

Global Climate Action Summit

September 12 -14, San Francisco

The Global Climate Action Summit brought leaders, NGO’s, businesses, cities, citizens and different personalities together in San Francisco to celebrate their achievements and commitments with respect to climate action. 

 

The Brahma Kumaris took part in this summit by sharing its commitments with renewable energy and how spirituality brings ways to change ourselves and the the world. Several workshops took place, along with interfaith activities, meditations and meeting with friends. Read more.

International Day of Peace

September 21

This year, the usual Student Observance that takes place in celebrating the International Day of Peace was replaced with a tribute to the late and former Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan. However, the ringing of the Peace Bell by the Secretary General, H.E. Antonio Guterres, and the new President of the General Assembly, H.E. Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, was held along with observing a minute of silence at 12noon.

There was a series of events held at the UN Church Center to honor this day. One such event was organized by the International Day Yoga Committee at the UN, of which the BKs are the Vice-chairRead more.

BK Jayanti's visit to New York

Sr. Jayanti's visit to New York was mainly to be a Spiritual Resource, with BK Mohini, for the Call-of-the-Time Retreat which was held in Peace Village. This coincided with the celebration of 40 years of service of the Brahma Kumaris in the USA. The BKUN office also took the opportunity to have her meet with the larger UN community by hosting two events:

 

The 2030 Development Agenda: Defining Transforming within the Sustainable Development Agenda

Wednesday, September 26

The United Nations calls its Agenda 2030 a transformative agenda. The Brahma Kumaris and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), hosted a third in a series of dialogues to explore what transformation really means. Sr. Jayanti was one of four speakers who addressed 40 representatives from UN Agencies, the Business Sector, NGOs, and Academia.

A Time with Sr. Jayanti: Serving with An Attitude of Universal Benevolence (Ahimsa)

An informal conversation was held with Sr. Jayanti and some close friends of the BKUN Office in NY. It was a time to share insights, experience company that nurtures, and empower the self.

Eastern Meditation for Western Minds

Thursday, September 27

A unique event was hosted at the exclusive Harvard Club in NYC for people in leadership roles to have an introduction to meditation, which Sr. Jayanti eloquently delivered. As over 80 people from a wide cross section of society left the room, it seemed that they had a deeper commitment to ensure they nurture themselves on a regular basis.

 

Special Visits

Chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN, Ms. Denise Scotto, Esq., proudly presented BK Jayanti with a beautiful hard copy of the Special Edition of Light on Light E-Magazine which commemorated World Yoga Day 2018. The magazine features how yoga is experienced in the work of the UN and how it is practiced in the daily lives of people through UN accredited NGOs and the greater community.

 

The Session of the UN General Assembly is usually opened with a Prayer Service in which all delegates, UN dignitaries, and Interfaith Leaders are invited to attend. The Service was held at the Church of the Holy Family and presided over by The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the UN, Archbishop Auza.

Ongoing at the UN

Thursday evening meditations are continuing to nurture the UN Community. There has also been an ongoing flow of visitors who stop by to learn more about the activities of the BKs at the UN and how we can work together, or simply just to say 'hello'.

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris

International Days

Below are the upcoming International Days that you may be interested in observing. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog

 

You are welcome to browse this website for updates on themes and other information and international days you may wish to.

 

 

July - August 2018 UN Newsletter

16 September 2018

Dear National Coordinators and Center Coordinators,

Greetings of love.

 

Mid-year at UNHQ, NY is usually quiet except for the UN DPI NGO annual conference. We invite you to read news of that, and more.

 

It was a 2-days conference held on August 22 and 23 at the UNHQ, with a post-conference networking session on August 24 at the Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. The Brahma Kumaris at the UN, a delegation of 5,(Gayatri Naraine, Sabita Geer, Julia Grindon-Welch, Kinnari Murthy, Pramity Shah), participated by attending various roundtables and workshops, facilitating an exhibit prepared by BK Youths, and being a speaker on a panel at one of the many workshops. Read more.

 

BK Delegation

 

Raksha Bandhan Celebration

 

Thursday, August 30

In the spirit of brotherhood, many friends, new as well as long-time, gathered at the serene space of the BKs at the UN to experience the beautiful bond between self and God. BK Gayatri, who was the Spiritual Resource, shared on the deeper aspects of Raksha Bandhan, and tied the rakhi on the wrists of everyone.

 

 

Peace in the Park

Central Park Bandshell, NY

Friday, July 20

Peace in the Park, an annual peace festival organized by the Brahma Kumaris, was a grand success this year as many NGOs and other friends of BKUN community came together to share the message of love, respect, compassion, and more with the people of NYC and the world. Read more here.

 

 

Special Visits

Members of the International Day of Yoga Committee at the UN proudly presented a beautiful hard copy of the Special Edition of Light on Light E-Magazine to His Excellency, the Honorable Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, which commemorated World Yoga Day 2018 and features how yoga is experienced in the work of the UN and how it is practiced in the daily lives of people through UN accredited NGOs and the greater community.

 

A courtesy call was also made on the Deputy Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UN, Mr. Yerkin Akhinzhanov.

 

H.E. Syed Akbaruddin and members of the IDY Committee

Deputy Ambassador Mr. Yerkin getting his rakhi tied by BK Gayatri

 

Ongoing at the UN

Apart from organizing programs at the UN, the BKUN team has been attending side events and supporting a number of other causes organized by UN Agencies and Mission States.

 

Insight Series: A Discussion on Migration at the Dag Hammarskjold Library

Launch of the International Day of Education for Global Citizenship at the Korean Mission

 

UN International Observances Celebrated by the Brahma Kumaris

International Days

Below are the upcoming International Days that you may be interested in observing. As usual, we appreciate a brief report and photos for the facebook page and the blog.


You are welcome to browse this website for updates on themes and other information and international days you may wish to observe.

September 21 International Day of Peace 
October 1 International Day of Older Persons 
October 2 International Day of Non-violence 
November 16 International Day of Tolerance 
November 18 World Day of Remebrance for Road Traffic Victims 
December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities 
December 10 Human Rights Day

 

International Weeks:

February 1 - 7 World Interfaith Harmony Week 
May 4 - 10 UN Global Road Safety Week (every 2 years)

 

 

 

2018 UN News Archive