Peace One Day

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Peace One Day
Peace one day logo.jpg
Founded September 1999
Focus Peace day, World peace, Non-violence, Conflict resolution, International community
  • United Kingdom
Method Activism, Education, Non-violence, Ceasefires, [2]
Key people
Jeremy Gilley, Founder

Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation whose objective is "to institutionalise the International Day of Peace, 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known." [1]

Founded in 1999 by the British documentary filmmaker and actor Jeremy Gilley, Peace One Day was instrumental in the United Nations' unanimous adoption, in 2001, of the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. UN GA Resolution 55/282 declares that "the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day". It also invites organizations and individuals "to commemorate the International Day of Peace through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire".[2]


In 1998 Jeremy Gilley conceived the idea of a single day when all countries vowed not to wage war; a worldwide ceasefire and day of non-violence. Later that year, Gilley established Peace One Day and began meeting students, peace negotiators, NGOs, government representatives, heads of state, and United Nations officials in order to initiate the Peace Day campaign. Those contacted included: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, Secretary General of the League of Arab States Amre Moussa, Peace Laureate and former Israeli President Shimon Peres, former Costa Rican President and Nobel Peace Laureate - Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nelson Mandela and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The UN holds many international observances and had already declared the third Tuesday of September the International Day of Peace,[3] Peace One Day aimed to resolve the confusion on which calendar day it fell and extend the International Day of Peace beyond its essential symbolism, urging for a more robust resolution. On 7 September 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by the UK and Costa Rica, formally establishing the UN International Day of Peace an annual Peace Day of global ceasefire and non-violence on a fixed calendar date 21 September.[4] This process was recorded by Gilley who consequently created the documentary film "Peace One Day".

The former UK ambassador to the United Nations, Jeremy Greenstock, credited Peace One Day's campaign with playing a central role in the new resolutions processes and commented that "the need for such an enhanced approach was originally brought to our attention by a United Kingdom-based non-governmental organization, Peace One Day".[5]

International action[edit]

The first Peace Days passed relatively uneventfully, and it was not until 2006 that activities began to take place on the 21st.[6] On Peace Day 2006 the World Food Programme delivered 30 tonnes of food to Southern Sudan, Star Syringe Ltd. carried out immunization programs in nine countries, and the International Rescue Committee reunited a former child soldier with her family.[6]


In 2007, Peace One Day focused on Afghanistan to help develop and document preparations for activities across the country for Peace Day. A 21 September ceasefire allowed UN agencies and the Afghan government to give polio vaccines to 1.4 million children in areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan.[6] Gilley and Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law traveled to Afghanistan to videotape the impact of the 2007 Peace Day in Afghanistan for Gilley's documentary "The Day After Peace", meeting with Afghan Minister of Education Mohammad Atmar, UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Tom Koenigs, the head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society Fatima Gailani, and many others.

As a result of this work, since 2007, Peace Day agreements by all parties to conflict in the region have resulted in the immunisation against polio of 4.5 million children in areas hitherto unreachable or hard to reach due to conflict.

On Peace Day 2008 the UN announced a 70% reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan.

Global Truce 2012[edit]

At the Peace Day O2 Arena concert in 2011, Peace One Day announced a 365-day countdown to a Global Truce in 2012, to take place on the forthcoming Peace Day. The concert promoted the London 2012's Olympic Truce programme and marked the International Day of Peace.[7] With successful negotiations for consecutive ceasefires on Peace Day between 2008 to 2010 in Afghanistan and the humanitarian work that was achieved there, demonstrating in one of the most difficult conflicts, the day could work and lives can be saved. This inspired Jeremy Gilley which lead to the ambitious and unprecedented announcement, of a new international campaign called Global Truce 2012. Peace One Day monitored the day's impact with measurable results and hoped that it would become a world record, in conjunction with the Guinness World Records.

The aims of Global Truce 2012:

  • The largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally.
  • The largest ever gathering of individuals in the name of peace.

To involve communities and individuals in action on the day, Peace One Day is involved in grassroots initiatives and has organised international coalitions with non-governmental organisations and Students' unions in every continent of the world, that support the campaign to mobilise mass participation on Peace Day. The campaign also highlights domestic violence and bullying in society, that the campaign sees equally important to reduce as armed conflict.

The Peace One Day Celebration and concert on Peace Day 2012, the day of Global Truce, was held at Wembley Arena, with headline acts including Elton John, James Morrison and 2Cellos.[8]

DRC and the Great Lakes Region 2014-2016[edit]

2014 sees Peace One Day begin a three-year programme to promote peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the countries of the Great Lakes Region of Africa. War has been raging in the DRC for twenty years. More lives have been lost here than in any conflict since WW2; it is the world’s forgotten conflict.[9] The goal is to encourage all parties in the DRC to stand together in the name of peace on 21 September. Peace One Day hopes to raise the level of awareness of, and respect for Peace Day, so as to generate a significant reduction of violence across the country on the day by 2016 at the latest, and allow much needed humanitarian access to reach people caught in the cross fire. Just as important, however, is the way in which a day of peace could help change the perception of what is possible in the DRC, particularly amongst a younger generation who have known only war.

Community action[edit]

For 21 September every year, Peace One Day leads a global campaign of widespread community action and celebration in every continent. Peace One Day encourages people to organise their own events and activities in their local community and to join their family and friends in action on Peace Day. Peace One Day's 'Pocket Book of Peace' provides valuable resources to help people organise their events.[10] Past years such events have included Peace Day walks, discussions, poetry readings, assemblies, concerts, art and photography exhibitions, sport events and screenings of Peace One Day films.

Move For Peace[edit]

Over the years, Peace One Day has used a range of sports to spread the message of Peace Day and bring people together on the day. Through One Day One Goal and Try For Peace, both football and rugby have proved to be powerful vehicles for spreading the Peace Day message and we hope that Move For Peace can do the same.

For Peace Day, 21 September, Peace One Day has launched the Move For Peace campaign to encourage runners, swimmers and cyclists of any ability, age and background to mark the day

One Day One Goal[edit]

One Day One Goal is a football initiative that aims to harness the power of ‘the beautiful game’ to foster the spirit of Peace Day 21 September. Football matches are played all over the world to commemorate the day. From matches that have brought together the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga, or teams from the Northern and Southern factions of Côte d'Ivoire, to matches involving refugees and their neighbouring communities; from kids exposed to gang violence in South America, to a match played by researchers in the Antarctic snow; One Day One Goal clearly illustrated the potential of football to unite people in celebrating peace.[11] Each One Day One Goal match celebrates cooperation, unity and the power of football to bring people together.

One Day One Dance[edit]

One Day One Dance is Peace One Day’s initiative to promote peace through dance on Peace Day 21 September. Anyone can organise or take part in One Day One Dance events, and all events support the institutionalisation of Peace Day. The initiative is open to professionals, amateurs and first timers, and events can reflect any style of dance. Since Peace Day 2011, thousands of people all over the world have danced on Peace Day. Countries where events have taken place include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Finland, France, Haiti, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates,Venezuela, and Vietnam.[12]

Set for Peace[edit]

The Set for Peace campaign encourages the use of music to bring people together for Peace Day, encouraging DJs worldwide to play a ‘set’ in the name of peace on 21 September. 2013 saw DJs of the world from conflict zones, to nightclubs, to the front rooms of our homes, to individuals, doing a ‘Set for Peace’.[13]

Peace One Day concerts[edit]

As part of their continuing plan to raise awareness of Peace Day they have arranged numerous concerts with the support of celebrities and musicians like Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox, Angelina Jolie, Joseph Fiennes, Sir Richard Branson, Nadirah X, Mudbone Cooper and the late Mo Mowlam. The first concert was held in 2002 at the Brixton Academy in London, and it was so successful that a second concert was held there again in 2003.

In 2007, Peace One Day organised a third concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, headlining Annie Lennox with Yusuf Islam, Corinne Bailey Rae, James Morrison, Kate Nash, and Marc Almond. The concert also included specially filmed pieces from Jude Law, David Beckham, and Lord David Puttnam. A second concert was held at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008, and it was broadcast in 93 countries.[14]

In 2009 the Peace One Day 10th Anniversary Concert was held in Paris at Le Grand Rex,[15] and this concert included performances by Lenny Kravitz, Kasabian, and Keziah Jones.

The 2011 concert at the O2 Arena announced a new Peace One Day initiative Global Truce 2012, Razorlight and Eliza Doolittle headlined.[7] On 21 June 2012 a Peace One Day concert at Derry, in the spirit of the Olympic Truce marked the start of the London 2012 Festival and was also a three-month countdown to Global Truce 2012, some of the musicians that performed were Pixie Lott, Newton Faulkner and Imelda May.[16]

The Peace One Day Celebration annual concert on Peace Day 21 September 2012, the day of Global Truce was held at Wembley Arena in London, with musicians Elton John, James Morrison and 2Cellos, introductions were made by Jude Law, Lily Cole and other special guests. The results of the Global Truce 2012 were announced.[8]

Peace One Day brought its 2013 celebration to The Hague to mark the first hundred years of the Peace Palace. This historic concert formed part of the 24-hour Global Broadcast on Peace Day Saturday 21 September 2013. The show contained performances from renowned international artists including Paul van Dyk, Natasha Bedingfield, Carlinhos Brown, The Feeling, Miguel Bosé and Jahméne Douglas.

The 24-hour Global Broadcast included a series of interviews with some of the world’s leading actors, talking about peace and the theme for Peace Day: “Who will you make peace with?” Each interview included a speech chosen and performed by the actor, relating to peace. Actors who took part included: Dominic Cooper, Eddie Izzard, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, Gael García Bernal, Michelle Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Sir Michael Caine and Jude Law.[17]

Education initiatives[edit]

Peace One Day launched its first educational resource, the Peace One Day Citizenship Resource Pack in May 2006. Educational resources are now available for both primary and secondary schools with lesson plans around the topics of non-violent conflict resolution, global citizenship, human rights, and the link between sustainability and peace. In 2010, with the help of Skype, Peace One Day launched the resource in the six official languages of the UN (Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish), all also available free online. The new online resource contains an extra lesson, "Intercultural Cooperation", that allows students to connect with students from other countries through Skype.[18]

The Peace One Day Education Ambassadors Programme was launched in 2012. This programme connects inspirational roles models from a variety of fields including film, music, teaching and the corporate sector with young people around the world. These Ambassadors use Skype to share their stories of Peace One Day with schools and youth groups, inspiring young people to get involved in the peace process and become the next generation of peacemakers. Ambassadors include Monique Coleman, Eliza Doolittle, Jason Gissing and Ben Harrington.[19]

Peace One Day films[edit]

The first documentary Peace One Day (2004) shows the real-life results of Peace Day 21 September around the world, including life-saving initiatives by leading humanitarian organizations. The film was used to encourage the members of the United Nations General Assembly to adopt 21 September as the day of global ceasefire and nonviolence, and includes footage of Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, and Alan Rickman.

Gilley completed a second feature documentary, The Day After Peace, in 2008. The film includes footage of the visit to Afghanistan by Jeremy and Jude Law and has won numerous awards, including the Cinèma Vérité Award in Paris and Geneva and the Best Documentary Award at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival.[20] It was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 19 May 2008 and was shown on 21 September 2008, at a Gala screening at the Royal Albert Hall, London.[21] It was also shown on 20 September 2008 on BBC Four as part of the Storyville strand and on BBC Two on 27 September 2008.[22] In August 2008 free screenings of the film were offered in Afghanistan. This was part of a promotional tour with Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law, to encourage all citizens of Afghanistan to celebrate Peace Day.[6]

In 2010, Gilley completed a third feature documentary, entitled Peace One Day Part Three. Produced by Gilley and Jude Law, it received its premiere broadcasts on 18/19 September 2010 on BBC World, with a reach of 306 million households in over 200 countries.

In 2010, Peace One Day launched a new division, POD Productions. POD Productions now provides film production services for third parties. All revenue goes into the Education and Life-Saving campaigns.

Digital Partner[edit]

Ve Interactive, a British technology firm, designed, built and donated Peace One Day website in 2013.[23]


  1. ^ [1]. Peace One Day | About
  2. ^ [United Nations General Assembly Resolution 55/282 International Day of Peace]
  3. ^ A/RES/36/67, 30 November 1981
  4. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 282. International Day of Peace A/RES/55/282 7 September 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
  5. ^ General Assembly Fifty-fifth session 111th plenary meeting Friday, 7 September 2001, 10 a.m. New York
  6. ^ a b c d "Story So Far",, Retrieved 2011-08-20
  7. ^ a b "London 2012: O2 Concert concludes Olympic Truce events". BBC News. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Sir Elton John to play for peace day". Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Pocketbook of Peace
  11. ^ One Day One Goal
  12. ^ One Day One Dance
  13. ^ Set for Peace
  14. ^ "Past Concerts". Peace One Day. Archived from the original on 2010-07-28. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  15. ^ "Paris Concert 2009". Peace One Day. Archived from the original on 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  16. ^ "Music lovers enjoy Londonderry peace concert". BBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Peace One Day Education Resources". 
  19. ^ Peace One Day Education Ambassadors
  20. ^ "The Day After Peace". Peace One Day. Archived from the original on 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  21. ^ Peace One Day celebration Peace One Day, (official home page), accessed 31 May 2008.
  22. ^ "BBC Programmes - Storyville - The Day After Peace". BBC. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  23. ^ "Ve Interactive Designs, Builds and Donates new Peace One Day Website". SourceWire. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 

External links[edit]