September 21st is the International Day of Peace, dedicated to celebrating solidarity, peace, and goodwill. The United Nations General Assembly established the celebration in 1981. The peace day goes beyond a temporary truce, urging us to address various forms of violence and foster a culture of justice, peace, and equality.
Today, communities engage in educational sessions and dialogues to raise awareness and promote a deeper understanding of peace. The Day's symbolism sheds light on global conflicts, emphasizing the need for resolution and inclusive societies.
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The International Day of Peace, or World Peace Day, burst onto the global stage in 1981. This landmark resolution, proposed by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, sparked new hope for a future free from strife. Back then, the calendar marked every third Tuesday of September for peace. The date coincides with the opening of the UN General Assembly.
In 1982, the world observed the first Peace Day. The UN Secretary-General at the time, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, delivered a message that centers on respect, safety, and dignity for everyone.
However, it was in 2001 that the United Nations General Assembly voted, fixing the 21st of September as the official annual date for the Internation Day of Peace. The United Nations calls for an observance of 24 hrs of non-violence and a ceasefire.
As time passed, Peace Day hit some pretty impressive milestones. The most notable was in 2005. The UN Secretary-General then, Kofi Annan, was in New York. He stood at the United Nations Headquarters and rang the Peace Bell. With this action, he reached out to the world, calling for a day of non-violence and cease-fire.
Over the years, the International Day of Peace has taken on new dimensions. Every year it's celebrated with a unique theme relevant to current issues. The 2022 theme was “End racism. Build peace”. This year's theme is "Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals."
The International Day of Peace is more than a call to lay down weapons. Achieving true peace goes beyond mere cessation of hostilities. It is a joint effort to resolve armed conflict, restore fundamental human rights, and aim for a sustainable future where everyone is treated equally. Peace is needed now more than ever. Here are some statistics and studies that highlight its importance:
Related read: Equality & Diversity Facts & Statistics
Many diverse organizations persistently work to build sustainable peace and cultivate harmony in the global peacekeeping arena. Our champion in this effort is the United Nations. The UN actively ignites the spirit of non-violence and peace in people worldwide through educational programs and events.
Furthermore, the Peace One Day organization is also one of the leading peace advocates. Actor and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley gave birth to this idea. This organization has instilled the value of peace and reconciliation in schools worldwide through well-thought-out campaigns and educational programs.
On the other hand, the US Institute of Peace and the PeaceJam Foundation have come up with novel programs aimed at building peace and helping people understand how to resolve conflicts. The PeaceJam, which boasts a lineup of Nobel Peace Laureates mentoring youth, has positively impacted tens of millions of young lives in 40 countries.
Achieving true peace entails everyone making an effort. We can celebrate and support peace day by following these simple tips:
A peaceful world is an equitable and sustainable world. As we celebrate this united nations international day, let us all be reminded that the culture of peace should be practiced in our everyday life.
We can start right where we are, with small acts of kindness, educating others about peace, and fostering understanding within our communities. Supporting organizations that promote human rights and conflict resolution is another meaningful step.
Global peace is an ongoing journey, and it begins with each individual. Let's promote the peace message, one step at a time, not just on September 21st but every day.
This global observance on September 21st annually advocates peace and non-violence among nations and people.
It serves to remind us of the value of peace in the world, encouraging the resolution of conflicts and peace promotion.
By organizing or attending peace events, promoting the day on social media, or simply exercising kindness and understanding.
UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency. (2022). Global Trends Report 2022 | UNHCR. UNHCR.
Global Report on Food Crises - 2022 | World Food Programme. (2022, May 4).
Pettersson, T., & Wallensteen, P. (2015). Armed conflicts, 1946–2014. Journal of Peace Research, 52(4), 536–550.
Chinny Verana is a degree-qualified marine biologist and researcher passionate about nature and conservation. Her expertise allows her to deeply understand the intricate relationships between marine life and their habitats.
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