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World Vegan Day – 1 November

The vegan way of life is increasingly establishing itself in our society as a way of life that can be practiced not only easily, but above  all without the need to cause animal suffering for one’s own food and clothing. Even in rural areas, the range of vegan products available in supermarkets is growing so that the fact that veganism is on the advance in our society can no longer be denied. Also the number of hotels and restaurants that focus on animal-free food has increased enormously in recent years. Long ago the fear of many Veganer, the purely vegetable nutrition is only a temporary, social trend, the conviction gave way that the Veganismus with its contribution for animal and environmental protection finds ever more trailer – and this world-wide.

The history of World Vegan Day

World Vegan Day originated in England in 1994, when vegan animal rights activist Louise Wallis was looking for a suitable setting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vegan Society. As President of the Vegan Society, her aim was not only to emphasise the continued existence of a vegan association, but also to draw attention to the fact that the word ‘vegan’ had found its way into the English language.

Wallis set November 1 as the date, as it falls exactly between October 31, which is Halloween, and the Mexican Day of the Dead, which falls on November 2. Since November 1, 1994, World Vegan Day has thus provided a welcome occasion for vegans in all parts of the world to celebrate and further promote veganism with all its positive aspects.

A ‘day of action’ with a higher sense

The World Vegan Day is not only about exchanging ideas with like-minded people and to honour Veganism. In the foreground on this day above all the clearing-up work is located: Humans, who do not have so far yet or only little entrance to the veganen way of life, are to be brought by information material or leaflets to the thinking and reorientation. The active dialogue with omnivores or vegetarians regarding their consumer behaviour and the advantages of a purely vegetable food plays an important role. Finally Veganer, which take part in the Weltvegantag actively, want to make attentive to the fact that each individual can make its contribution for animal and environmental protection and change thus much – completely after the slogan Gandhis: “Be you yourself the change, which you wish yourselves for this world ».


Source: Text:       Image: Journée mondiale

International Women’s Day – 8 March 2023

International Women’s Day 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity

For International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s all fully #EmbraceEquity.

Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA.

And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.

The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. 

All IWD activity is valid, that’s what makes IWD inclusive.

We can all truly embrace equity.

It’s not just something we say. It’s not just something we write about.

It’s something we need to think about, know, value and embrace.

It’s what we believe in, unconditionally. Equity means creating an inclusive world.

And we can all play a part

Each one of us can actively support and embrace equity within our own sphere of influence. 

We can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion. 

Collective activism is what drives change. From grassroots action to wide-scale momentum, we can all embrace equity. 

Forging gender equity isn’t limited to women solely fighting the good fight. Allies are incredibly important for the social, economic, cultural, and political advancement of women.

Everyone everywhere can play a part.

All IWD activity is valid.

That’s what makes IWD so inclusive.

Collectively, we can all forge positive change.

Being included, and a sense of belonging, feel right

When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.

We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity, and to help drive success for all.

Equality is the goal, and equity is the means to get there. 

Through the process of equity, we can reach equality.


Source: Text:        Image:

Rare Disease Day – 28 February 2023

Raising awareness and generating change for the 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease, their families and carers.

This year, our focus is equity. Everyone deserves equitable opportunities and access to health care but people living with a rare disease are more likely to experience treatment inequality, misdiagnosis and isolation. For #RareDiseaseDay 2023 on February 28, let’s light up in solidarity with over 300 million people living with a rare condition and share our colours!

Source: Text & Image:

World Youth Day – 15 July

Young people are drivers of change and must be fully engaged in decisions affecting their future. Guided by the United Nations Youth 2030 strategy, I urge everyone to act for youth skills development as a priority, at the Summit and beyond.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Transforming youth skills for the future

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, World Youth Skills Day has provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy-makers and development partners.

World Youth Skills Day 2022 takes place amid concerted efforts towards socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that are interconnected with challenges such as climate change, conflict, persisting poverty, rising inequality, rapid technological change, demographic transition and others.

Young women and girls, young persons with disabilities, youth from poorer households, rural communities, indigenous peoples, and minority groups, as well as those who suffer the consequences of violent conflict and political instability, continue to be excluded due to a combination of factors. In addition, the crisis has accelerated several transitions the world of work was already undergoing, which add layers of uncertainty regarding the skills and competencies that will be in demand after the pandemic is overcome.

The United Nations and its agencies,  such as UNESCO-UNEVOC, are well placed to help address these challenges by reducing access barriers to the world of work, ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified, and offering skills development opportunities for out-of-school youth and those not in employment, education or training (NEET). During this Decade of Action for the 2030 Agenda, the full engagement of young people in global processes is vital to generate positive change and innovation.


Source: Text: UN   Image:


2nd Sunday of Advent, Year B – 2020

 We know well about spring cleaning, or autumn cleaning – a time when we clear and clean many things around our houses.

The city council also knows much about road repair – it must be done again and again at the end of a season.

In both cases there is a need for change and improvement.
These two pictures came to my mind as I read the 1st reading and the gospel of this Sunday (Is.40:1-5,9-11; Mk.1:1-8).

We might not get involved in house cleaning or road repair but it may be that… some areas of our lives need change and improvement of some kind for us to welcome the Lord…Our values may need to be upgraded…

  • Our choices may benefit from being more other-centered…
  • Our decisions may gain from being more inspired by lasting concerns…
  • Our attitude to other people may be improved with respect and acceptance…
  • Our commitments may need an increase of generosity…
  • Our faith may want to be deepened…

During this period of Advent, this could be OUR straightening of paths and lowering of mountains.
It may look, at first, as a formidable task but we are not expected to do it on our own.
The Holy Spirit within us is always willing to enable us to do what is asked of us.

Note: Another reflection on a different theme is available in French at:


Source: Images: Space-O Technologies   Be HBG!

Ash Wednesday, Year C – 2019

Who knows?”  
We often hear this expression in different contexts.
It is sometimes used when inquiring about a possible event.
One may wonder about the outcome of a given project and asks someone about it.
The answer comes: ‘Who knows?’ 
A person may inquire about the intention of a colleague regarding a possible decision.
The same answer is given: ‘Who knows?’ 
These words imply that there are a number of possible outcomes.
The expression supposes that different conclusions may be reached, or choices made.
In other words: the situation is, as we say, ‘wide open’ – some change may happen in the course of time.

It is interesting to see these words used by the prophet Joel speaking about… GOD!
In the 1st reading (Joel 2:12-18), we hear him say:
Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing…”

As if God could change his mind!
We have been taught that it is not so, and yet…

Perhaps we need to switch things around, look at another angle of the situation –
the situation of… our relationship with God…

If WE change, if we return to him as he asks us to do…
Who knows?’ we may come to see him as he really is:
“gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love…”

Perhaps this is what Lent is all about: OUR changing so we may see God as he is…
as he wants to be for us: always ready to “leave behind a blessing…”

Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at:


Source: Image: Pilgrim at the Crossroads –



22nd Sunday of Year B

« It is a question of perspective… »
These words are sometimes spoken by someone who does not agree with a statement from somebody else.
That person does not want to express disapproval outright.
He, or she, does not want to manifest too bluntly a difference of opinion, or taste.
But, the person wants to distance him/herself from the affirmation heard.

It could be a temptation to react in this way to the texts of the gospel.
Jesus’ example invites us to a completely different attitude.
In the scene of this Sunday (22nd Sunday of Year B – Mc.7:1-8.14-15.21-23),
we see him responding with force to the Pharisees and scribes who challenge the attitude of his apostles.

What we see happening is, yes, a change of perspective, but much more than that.
Jesus leads them to change their focus from the following of traditions for traditions’ sake
to a genuine faithfulness to God’s message.
He calls his audience to move from appearances to the heart.
It is quite a change indeed!

Nowadays more than ever our society focuses on appearances.
‘Image-making’ has become an art and success in business, politics, entertainment, depends very much on this.
The gospel does NOT!

We are faced with the on-going challenge to move

  • from the outward expressions to the inner reality,
  • from what is manifest to what is hidden,
  • from what is superficial to what lies in the depths of ourselves and others –
    • the place where God is present and where our true self is being shaped by his Spirit…

“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them,
but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them…
The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

A change of perspective indeed!

Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at:

Source: Image:

World Radio Day – 13 February

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the World Radio Day      

We are living a revolution in how we share and access information – and, yet, in the midst of deep change, radio has never been so dynamic, engaging and important.
This is UNESCO’s message on World Radio Day, 13 February 2017.

At a time of turbulence, radio provides an enduring platform to bring communities together. On the way to work, in our homes, offices and fields, in times of peace, conflict and emergencies, radio remains a crucial source of information and knowledge, spanning generations and cultures, inspiring us with the wealth of humanity’s diversity, and connecting us with the world. Radio gives voice to women and men everywhere. It listens to audiences and responds to needs. It is a force for human rights and dignity and a powerful enabler of solutions to the challenges all societies face.

This is why radio is important to taking forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Advancing fundamental freedoms and promoting public access to information is essential to bolstering good governance and the rule of law, to deepening inclusion and dialogue. In tackling new challenges, in responding to climate change, in countering discrimination, radio can provide an accessible and real-time medium to bridge divides and strengthen dialogue.

This requires a new commitment by all to radio. Broadcasters, regulators and audiences alike should nurture and make the most of its power. Listener clubs and forums are uniting communities around common issues with the power to hear themselves on the airwaves and to have others listen to them. Audience engagement policies are placing listeners at the heart of broadcasts. Media and information literacy has never been so vital, to build trust in information and knowledge at a time when notions of ‘truth’ have been challenged. This is how radio can provide a beacon for innovative solutions to local problems, and continue to advance human rights, gender equality, dialogue and peace.

On World Radio Day, UNESCO calls on everyone to nurture the power of radio to foster the conversations and the listening we need for cooperation to tackle the challenges all humanity faces.

Source: Text & Images: UNESCO

World Quality Day – 10 November


The purpose of World Quality Day is to promote awareness of quality around the world and to encourage individuals’ and organisations’ growth and prosperity

The CQI’s first World Quality Day conference took place on 13 November 2008 at the Imarsat Conference Centre in London and proved to be the forum for innovation, inspiration and creative ideas that it had promised to be.

World Quality Day takes place every year on the second Thursday of November. Businesses across the world take part in a variety of activities such as business-wide seminars, presentations, quizzes and competitions at their workplace. Events are usually organised by quality professionals based within organisations and are designed to spread the ‘importance of quality’ message to non-quality professionals.

When applied to organisations, the function of quality is to protect and enhance reputations, improve profitability and drive change. Ultimately, quality is an outcome – a characteristic of a product or service provided to a customer, and the hallmark of an organisation which has satisfied all of its stakeholders.

Source: Text & Image: WEBPLUS.INFO

International Day of Democracy – 15 September

« The implementation of the Goals must be underpinned by a strong and active civil society that includes the weak and the marginalized. We must defend civil society’s freedom to operate and do this vote count in Dili polling stations during parliamentary elections. 7 July 2012. Photo by UNMIT/Martine Perretessential job. On this International Day of Democracy, let us rededicate ourselves to democracy and dignity for all. » — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

2016 Theme: Democracy and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
In September 2015, all 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — a plan for achieving a better future for all, laying out a path over 15 years to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet. At the heart of the Agenda are the Sustainable Development Goals, which call for mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

Speaking at the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Fourth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the parliamentarians of the world for the valuable role they played in shaping the new framework. He also underscored that their contribution to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda will be equally critical: “People will look to you to hold your governments accountable for achieving the goals, and to write the laws and invest in the programmes that will make them a reality,” he said, noting that democratic principles also run through the entire document “like a silver thread.”

Sustainable Development Goal 16 addresses democracy by calling for inclusive and participatory societies and institutions. It aims to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.” The Goal is both an end in itself and a crucial part of delivering sustainable development in all countries. It has been seen by many commentators as the transformational goal and key to ensuring that the Agenda can be accomplished.

Source: Text: UN Image: Polling officers tally votes after ballots were cast in Timor-Leste’s parliamentary elections (2012). UN Photo/Martine Perret