International Day of Peace
|International Day of Peace|
Flag of the United Nations
|Observed by||All UN Member States|
The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1982, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples.
To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as "a reminder of the human cost of war"; the inscription on its side reads, "Long live absolute world peace".
Individuals can also wear White Peace Doves to commemorate the International Day of Peace, which are badges in the shape of a dove produced by a non-profit organisation in Canada.
The United Nations General Assembly declared, in a resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, the International Day of Peace, to be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace. The date initially chosen was the regular opening day of the annual sessions of the General Assembly, the third Tuesday of September. (This was changed in 2001 to the current annual celebration on 21 September each year - see 2001 below.)
Tuesday 21 September 1982 was the first occurrence of the International Day of Peace.
A proposal for expanding the International Day of Peace to include Reconciliation, in which a massive number of emblems (White Doves) would be distributed after a formal presentation at the United Nations, was put forward by Vincent Coyle, of Derry, Northern Ireland, and was debated at Seanad Éireann. It was accepted that it would be impractical for one member state to ask for a particular slot at a general UN ceremony. However, events have been held at the United Nations in New York, with the support of Kofi Annan, in April.
In 2001 the opening day of the General Assembly was scheduled for 11 September, and Secretary General Kofi Annan drafted a message recognising the observance of International Peace Day on 11 September. That year the day was changed from the third Tuesday to specifically the twenty-first day of September, to take effect in 2002. A new resolution was passed by the General Assembly, sponsored by the United Kingdom (giving credit to Peace One Day) and Costa Rica (the original sponsors of the day), to give the International Day of Peace a fixed calendar date, 21 September, and declare it also as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.
A diplomatic stir occurred when Lions Clubs International sponsored a competition for six posters to be used for International Day of Peace commemorative stamps issued by the UN Postal Administration. A poster by 15-year-old Taiwanese school student Yang Chih-Yuan was announced as one of the winners, but the announcement was withdrawn. Taiwan media reports, Taiwan Lions Club and the government of Taiwan claimed the decision not to use the poster resulted from pressure from China; the rejection of the student's painting on political grounds did not reflect the ideals of the International Day of Peace. The UN issued a statement that, although in the short list of eight designs, "due to an internal misunderstanding and miscommunication, Mr. Yang's proof got publicized in error as one of the six stamps intended to be issued." The government of Taiwan (Republic of China) later issued a stamp containing the image.
In 2006, then Secretary-General Kofi Annan rang the Peace Bell for the last time during his term in office. That year the UN asserted the "many ways it works for peace and to encourage individuals, groups and communities around the world to contemplate and communicate thoughts and activities on how to achieve peace. The United Kingdom held the primary public and official observation of the United Nations International Day of Peace and Non-Violence in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. This was organized by Peace Parade UK. "
In 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang the Peace Bell at United Nations Headquarters in New York calling for a 24-hour cessation of hostilities on 21 September, and for a minute of silence to be observed around the world.
In 2009 - International Year of Reconciliation - the day was marked by a massive number of emblems (White Doves) being distributed after a formal presentation at the United Nations, bearing in mind the Charter of the United Nations, including the purposes and principles contained therein, and in particular those of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, bringing about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace, and practising tolerance and living together in peace with one another as good neighbours, thus developing friendly relations among nations and promoting international cooperation to resolve international economic, social, cultural and humanitarian issues. Vincent Coyle  gave his full support.
In 2011 the UN Peace Day's theme was "Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard".
Many organizations held Peace Day events worldwide in 2011. There were school activities, music concerts, global comedy clubs (www.thinkPEACE.net), peace doves, prayer vigils, peace conferences, and UN activities. Organizations like Wiser.org and Culture of Peace have been active participants in Peace Day activities for years.
Vincent "Vinny" Coyle, from the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Veteran's Association, believes we must be a beacon of light to the rest of the world and show peace through reconciliation can work. Vincent calls on people world wide to support International Day of Peace and the International Day of Reconciliation.
The International Day of Peace in 2012 falls on September 21.
Global Truce Day 2012 
In 2011, Peace One Day announced at their O2 Arena concert, a new international campaign called Global Truce 2012, a grassroots initiative and international coalition with non-governmental organisations and student unions in every continent, which increased participation and action on Peace Day 2012, the day of Global Truce. Particular focus in this campaign including a cessation of hostilities on the day, is the reduction of domestic violence and bullying in society. The Peace One Day Celebration concert on Peace Day in 2012 was held at Wembley Arena to celebrate Global Truce 2012. The Global Truce campaign is panned to continue and be named with each year it leads up to, involving more partners and coalitions for mass participation and life-saving practical action on Peace Day.
- "Secretary-General's Message on the International Day of Peace 21 September 2002". Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 282 session 55 International Day of Peace on 7 September 2001
- United Nations General Assembly Resolution 67 session 36 International Year of Peace and International Day of Peace page 1 on 30 November 1981
- Seanad Éireann - Volume 148 26th July 1996 http://historical-debates.oireachtas.ie/S/0148/S.0148.199607260010.html
- MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-GENERAL ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
- United Nations General Assembly Verbotim Report meeting 111 session 55 page 2, Sir Jeremy Greenstock United Kingdom on 7 September 2001 (retrieved 2008-08-23)
- Taipei Times Row erupts over local boy's stamp design
- Taipei Times Chunghwa Post announces intent to use student art
- Office of the President, Republic of China News Release: President Chen Receives the Painter of International Day of Peace Stamp Yang Chih-yuan
- "International Day of Peace 2005". Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- "International Day of Peace 2006". Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- "International Day of Peace 2007". Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- SER Foundation - http://www.ser-foundation.net/en/un_005.php
- "Sir Elton John to play for peace day". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2013)|
- Official site
- United Nations Cyberschoolbus - Peace Education
- United Nations International Day of Peace - Facebook page
- Peace One Day, Founder - Jeremy Gilley, "One day of peace", TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011
- Vincent Coyle
- International Day of Peace Vigil
- Pathways To Peace
- Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) - International Day of Peace page
- Celebrate Peace Day on Wiser.org
- World Peace Prayer Society
- People Building Peace
- White Peace Doves (broken link)
- Springboard Peace Day campaign
- Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas - Parliamentary Debates, Adjournment Matter - International Day of Peace
- S.E.R. Foundation Nederlands - Foundation for Subjective Experience and Research, UN Document
- ThinkPEACE Network
- Sangam University Bhilwara Rajasthan Celebrates International Day of Peace 2012
- Peace Hour.org 
- International Aiki Peace Week