International Day of Peace

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International Day of Peace
International Peace Day logo.jpg
Observed by All UN Member States
Type United Nations International Declaration
Celebrations Multiple world wide events
Date 21 September
Next time 21 September 2019 (2019-09-21)
Frequency Annual
Related to Peace Movement

The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world 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 people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.[1]

To inaugurate the day, the United Nations 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".[2]

In recent years, a searchable map of events has been published at un.org.[3]

History[edit]

1981 – UN General Assembly Resolution passed[edit]

The United Nations General Assembly declared, in a resolution sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica,[4] the International Day of Peace, to be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace.[5] 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.)

1982 – First observance[edit]

Tuesday 21 September 1982 was the first occurrence of the International Day of Peace. The theme of the first International Day of Peace was the Right to peace of people.

1983 – Culture of Peace initiative[edit]

In the spirit of the original vision that brought forth the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Secretary General announces a Culture of Peace in the 21st century initiative to unite the strengths of organizations, projects and peoples in order to make Peace a practical reality for the children of this and future generations.[6]

1996 – Seanad Éireann debate[edit]

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.[7] However, events have been held at the United Nations in New York, with the support of Kofi Annan, in April.

2001 – Date set at 21 September[edit]

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 21 September.[8] 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,[4] 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.[9]

2004 – Taiwanese commemorative stamp controversy[edit]

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;[10] the rejection of the student's painting on political grounds did not reflect the ideals of the International Day of Peace.[11] 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."[10] The government of Taiwan (Republic of China) later issued a stamp containing the image.[12]

2005 – UN Secretary General calls for 22-hour ceasefire[edit]

In 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the worldwide observance of a 22-hour cease-fire and day of nonviolence to mark the Day.[13]

Global survey of celebration[edit]

The Culture of Peace Initiative published an annual report for the International Day of Peace in 2005 describing events in 46 countries:[14] Africa 11; East Asia and Pacific 12; Latin America and Caribbean 4; Europe 14; Middle East 3; North America 2 (22 states, provinces).

2006 – Peace Parade, UK[edit]

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.[15][16]

2007 – UN Secretary General calls for worldwide moment of silence[edit]

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.[17]

2009 – International Year of Reconciliation announced[edit]

Painting by children, International Peace Day 2009, Geneva.

In 2009 – International Year of Reconciliation – the day was marked by a massive number of 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 of Derry, Northern Ireland gave his full support.[18]

Global survey of celebration[edit]

The Culture of Peace Initiative published an annual report for the International Day of Peace in 2009 describing events in 77 countries:[19] Africa 14; East Asia and Pacific 20; Latin America and Caribbean 11; Europe 23; Middle East 7; North America 2 countries (48 states, provinces).

2011 – Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard[edit]

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 Peace One Day, Wiser and Culture of Peace have been active participants in Peace Day activities for years.

2012 – Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future[edit]

The United Nations set the theme for this year's observance as Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future, commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.[20]

Global Truce Day 2012[edit]

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 Students' unions in every continent, which increased participation and action on Peace Day 2012, the day of Global Truce. Particular focus in this campaign included a cessation of hostilities on the day and a 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.[21] The Global Truce campaign will 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.

2013 – Focus on Peace education[edit]

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has dedicated the World Peace Day 2013 to Peace education in an effort to refocus minds and financing on the preeminence of peace education as the means to bring about a culture of peace.[22] Animator and children's book author, Sue DiCicco announced in May 2013[23] a global campaign to increase awareness of Peace Day and promote peace education within schools and community groups through the Peace Crane Project.[24] Gorey Community School in Co. Wexford, Ireland, has been chosen to be School of Peace for 2013.

Global Truce 2013[edit]

Peace One Day launched a new theme for Global Truce 2013: Who Will You Make Peace With?

Peace Day Comedy 2013[edit]

To bring awareness to Peace Day, thinkPEACE promoted a Peace Day Comedy program, "Stand-Up For International Peace," held in over 50 global comedy clubs in 2013.[25]

2014 – Right to Peace[edit]

March of Peace in Moscow, Protests in Moscow against the war with Ukraine. 21 September 2014.
The concert of INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE at Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome. 21 September 2014 (organized by MasterPeace)
International Peace Day ceremony, organised by Ekta Parishad, Gandhi Bhawan, Bhopal, India, September 2014

The theme of the 2014 International Day of Peace is the Right of Peoples to Peace, reaffirming the United Nations commitment to the UN Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace,[26] which recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.[27]

2014 Peace Day Comedy program[edit]

To bring awareness to Peace Day 2014, the thinkPEACE Network will promote a Peace Day Comedy program, "Stand-Up For International Peace," to be held in over 50 global comedy clubs.[28]

Waves Of Kindness global meditation events[edit]

The Waves Of Kindness Global Initiative celebrates the United Nations International Day Of Peace though global meditation events.[29]

Comment in Global Education Magazine[edit]

Director of UNESCO to Vietnam, Katherine Müller, said in Global Education Magazine: "I personally identify with UNESCO’s values in the sense that I truly believe Education, Culture, Social and Natural Sciences, and Communication and Information are some of the most powerful drivers for sustainable development and peace, as a sustainable future cannot exist without sustainable peace. Raising awareness, capacity building, promoting understanding and respect for diversity, and fostering opportunities for interaction to find ways to ensure a culture of peace are all actions that will motivate people to become interested in setting peace as a priority for sustainable development.[30]"

2015 – Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All[edit]

The theme of the 2015 International Day of Peace was "Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All".[31]

2016 – The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace[edit]

The theme of the 2016 International Day of Peace was "The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace".[32]

2017 – Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All[edit]

This theme is based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.[33]

The Peace Crane Project[edit]

In 2017, The Peace Crane Project announced the goal of collecting 1,000 cranes from students around the world to display in various venues to celebrate.[34][35]

2017 Global survey of celebration[edit]

A survey by the Culture of Peace News Network found internet reports about 562 celebrations of the International Day of Peace from 127 countries around the world this year.[36] These included 128 events coming from most of the provinces and states in Canada and the USA. Next were the countries formerly part of the Soviet Union with 104. There were 96 events cited in 27 European countries, 81 from 29 African countries, 67 from 20 Asian countries, 58 from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries, and 28 from 21 Arab and Middle Eastern countries.

2018 - The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70[edit]

The 2018 U.N. Peace Day Theme is "The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70."[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "International Day of Peace Event Information". Secretary-General of the United Nations. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  2. ^ "Secretary-General's Message on the International Day of Peace 21 September 2002". Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  3. ^ Use this map to find a/n.../ event near you. internationaldayofpeace.org, accessed 11 August 2018
  4. ^ a b United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 282. International Day of Peace A/RES/55/282 7 September 2001. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  5. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 36 Resolution 67. International Year of Peace and International Day of Peace A/RES/36/67 page 1. 30 November 1981. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  6. ^ "About the Culture of Peace Initiative". CPI. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  7. ^ Seanad Éireann — Volume 148 26 July 1996 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Message from Secretary-General on International Day of Peace; 11 September 2001". www.unis.unvienna.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Verbotim Report 111. A/55/PV.111 page 2. Sir Jeremy Greenstock United Kingdom 7 September 2001. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  10. ^ a b Taipei Times Row erupts over local boy's stamp design
  11. ^ Taipei Times Chunghwa Post announces intent to use student art
  12. ^ Office of the President, Republic of China News Release: President Chen Receives the Painter of International Day of Peace Stamp Yang Chih-yuan
  13. ^ "International Day of Peace 2005". Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  14. ^ 2005 “WE THE PEOPLES” INITIATIVE (celebration of the International Day of Peace) Archived at archive.org, Accessed 1 August 2018, originally from cultureofpeace.org
  15. ^ "Peace Parade UK". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  16. ^ "International Day of Peace 2006". Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  17. ^ "International Day of Peace 2007". Retrieved 6 January 2008.
  18. ^ SER (Subjective Experience and Reason) Foundation – UN Documents: 2009, International Year of Reconciliation Accessed 9 October 2017
  19. ^ 2009 Report Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) (celebration of the International Day of Peace) Archived at archive.org, Accessed 1 August 2018, originally from cultureofpeace.org
  20. ^ "International Day of Peace 2012". Universal Peace Federation. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Sir Elton John to play for peace day". Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  22. ^ "Secretary-General's 100-day Countdown Message for the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2013". www.un.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Noozhawk.com Your News and Information Source". www.noozhawk.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Home". peacecraneproject.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  25. ^ "International Peace Day". ThinkPEACE.
  26. ^ "Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace". Approved by General Assembly resolution 39/11 of 12 November 1984. Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR). 12 November 1984. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  27. ^ "International Day of Peace 2014". United Nations. 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  28. ^ "International Day of Peace events". thinkPEACE Network. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  29. ^ "A unique and wonderful phenomena is gaining momentum worldwide". Waves of Kindness. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  30. ^ "Interview with Dr. Katherine Müller-Marin, Representative of UNESCO to VietNam". www.globaleducationmagazine.com. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  31. ^ 2015 International Day of Peace at un.org Accessed 1 October 2017
  32. ^ "UN International Day of Peace 2016", Retrieved on 1 October 2017
  33. ^ "The 2017 U.N. Peace Day Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All"; internationaldayofpeace.org/about Accessed 1 October 2017
  34. ^ The Peace Crane Project, at us4.campaign-archive1.com Accessed 1 October 2017
  35. ^ Director, Sarah Cowley, speaking about the Peace Crane Project at the United Nations, etc. in Peace Crane Project Campaign e-mail, September 2017, at us4.campaign-archive1.com Accessed 30 October 2017
  36. ^ "What has happened this year (2017) for the International Day of Peace? - CPNN". cpnn-world.org. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  37. ^ U.N. International Day of Peace, 21 September (as at July 2018) naming 2018 Theme as "Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70" internationaldayofpeace.org, Accessed 1 August 2018

External links[edit]