About International Day of Peace, September 21
The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.
In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.
By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
“Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.”
Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.
The 24-Hour Global Ceasefire
PART 1 – UNICEF: 2008 International Day of Peace in Afghanistan
Along with being designated by the UN as the International Day of Peace, September 21 is also a day of Global Ceasefire. By acknowledging a unified day without violence, a Global Ceasefire can provide hope for citizens who must endure war and conflict; it proves that worldwide peace is possible. A cessation of hostilities for 24 hours can also enable relief workers to reach civilians in need with food, water, and medical supplies.
In a speech given on the day of Global Ceasefire in 2002, Nasra Hassan, the Chief of Inter-Agency Relations and Fund Raising Branch at ODCCP and former Chief of the United Nations Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit, said that,
“There had to be work on development issues such as drugs and crime otherwise it would not be possible to have a sustainable peace. Ceasefires which were a message of hope to people, were a temporary solution which offered the time and space for an enduring peace to be negotiated and implemented.”
The importance of a Global Ceasefire has also been stressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a speech at the 2007 Peace Bell ringing ceremony, he said,
“I call for a day of global ceasefire: A 24-hour respite from the fear and insecurity that plague so many places. I urge all countries and all combatants to honor a cessation of hostilities. I urge them to ponder the high price that we all pay because of conflict. I urge them to vigorously pursue ways to make this temporary ceasefire permanent.”
PART 2 – UNICEF: 2008 International Day of Peace in Afghanistan
To help this cause, click the link below and send an email urging your elected officials to support the day of Global Ceasefire (US Elected Officials Only).