Draft Proposal for a World Thanksgiving (and gratitude) Day 2007 – 2008

Filed under 2 or more | Thanksgiving - Gratitude

In 2007 and 2008, there was a proposal put forward for a World Day of Thanksgiving.

The Peace Meditation Group at the UN had supported celebrations of International Day’s of Thanksgiving (since 1975)  and also World Gratitude Days (since 1977) and was requested  to provide information on those earlier programs and comments on the new proposal.

The Draft Proposal  2007 was shared with permanent country missions to the UN and other interested NGO’s and individuals. The Proposal was revised to reflect early comments. A number of countries permanent missions to the United Nations indicated they would be interested in being a resolution co-sponsor. However, no country came forward to be the main sponsor to introduce a draft resolution to the UN General Assembly for the 2007 or 2008 sessions.

  • Some felt the draft resolution might be improved by changing the proposed name to have both “Thanksgiving” and “Gratitude”  e.g  ” World Thanksgiving and Gratitude Day” . The inclusion of Gratitude resonated better with some cultures and languages and would have also recognized the previous World Gratitude day celebrated by some groups and individuals  since 1965.
  • Other delegations felt that a brief action plan should be developed to encourage local adoption and illustrate basic structure support available. For example, a simple way of registering and sharing inspiring Thanksgiving and Gratitude Day lessons learned and experiences between communities and cultures. This idea expressed a concern for practical implication once a resolution was passed.



Below is a draft of the the proposal that was widely circulated in the UN Community in 2007:


Draft as of 16 Sep 2007 – (2 page format)

For consideration by the 62nd session of the General Assembly

World Thanksgiving Day

Summary or Introduction:

This resolution encourages an annual observance of a day of World Thanksgiving. It recalls and builds on the spirit of previous efforts of the world community including the International Year of Thanksgiving (2000) which foster gratitude for life and the human experience. Annual day(s) selected by individual countries may vary to reflect historical and cultural circumstances or be celebrated in conjunction with an already established holiday. World Thanksgiving Day periodically presents an opportunity to:

  • Build bridges across communities and generations, honor local diversity, and introduce days of tranquility or truces among warring parties;
  • Appreciate and celebrate the cornerstone of all religions – gratitude and recognition of a higher force which inspires and guides life;
  • Share and celebrate important lessons learned from previous efforts related to cultures for peace, dialogues among civilizations, tolerance, acceptance; reconciliation, compassion and oneness fostering events; and
  • Engage our youth and future leaders in reflective, inclusive, cross-cultural and community building activities which also support international understanding.

A World Thanksgiving Day continues the historical healing experience of shared harvest thanksgivings and gratitude observances around the world. The suggested international component acknowledges the importance of gratitude in relations between individuals, countries and cultures of the world. It has the support of many delegations.

Draft WTD Resolution for consideration: A/RES/62/XX

The General Assembly,

Mindful, of the human experience of ancient and basic thanksgiving or gratitude traditions observed in many cultures worldwide which ties human communities together across generations and encourages compassion, oneness and sharing,

Recalling previous efforts to foster thanksgiving and gratitude for life, including Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/46 of 22 July 1997 and General Assembly resolution A/RES/52116 of 15 Jan 1998 which proclaimed the year 2000 as the International Year of Thanksgiving.

Considering that an annual day dedicated to Gratitude and Thanksgiving presents many opportunities for people to recall with humility and solidarity the important lessons of humanity highlighted by related oneness focused events such as UN proclaimed years: for a Culture of Peace (Resolution: A/RES/52/15); for Dialogue Among Civilizations (Resolution A/RES/53/22), for Tolerance (Resolution A/RES/48/126) and against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Resolution A/RES/53/132); of Older Persons (Resolutions A/RES/47/5 and A/RES/50/141) for Cultural Heritage (Resolution A/RES/56/8), and Reconciliation (GA Resolution A/RES/61/17)

Affirming that the healing spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving between people and cultural groups can inspire peace efforts and periodically presents an opportunity to:

  • Build bridges across communities and generations, honor local diversity, promote friendship and solidarity between nations, and introduce days of tranquility or truces among warring parties;
  • Appreciate and celebrate the cornerstone of all religions – gratitude and recognition of a higher force which inspires and guides life
  • Engage our youth and future leaders in reflective, cross-cultural and community building activities for the benefit of present and future generations

1.          Encourages all countries to support a World Thanksgiving or gratitude Day to be annually celebrated in ways appropriate for the culture and other circumstances of regional, national and local communities.

2.          Recommends that World Thanksgiving Day be held on a day proclaimed by each country or local community aimed at periodically renewing and celebrating the positive spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude within and across many cultures. This may be in conjunction with an already established similar local, national or international observance for the year. Some events could periodically highlight a theme such as: gratitude and respect for the environment; or appreciation for the contributions and circumstances of various populations, e.g. older persons, youth, indigenous peoples or recent disaster victims.

3.          Suggests that the World Thanksgiving or gratitude day(s) chosen have an international component to appreciate and express gratitude for the diversity in cultures and people, practicing tolerance and building bridges to peace by acknowledging the importance of gratitude as much in the personal and civic life of every human being as in the relations between the countries and cultures of the world.

4.        Invites all people and especially youth organizations and educational institutions to participate in World Thanksgiving Days in ways to promote friendship and solidarity between individuals, local communities and nations; and to consider complementary activities at the national and international levels through contacts with universities in different continents, interfaith services and academic and cultural events in various countries.

5.          Invites all Member States and interested intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to utilise their respective areas of expertise to: contribute to the preparations for World Thanksgiving Day each Year; to publicize and to share across communities the results of lessons learned and unique celebrations that foster cultural diversity and understanding in the development of a rich and harmonious international life.

 The Center for World thanksgiving was a main supporter for the 2007 – 2008 proposal.



click on image below for larger or different resolution photo image:

During this time some countries were also interested in reviewing background information collected during for 2000 International Year of Thanksgiving including: