Dear friends of the UN International Day of Peace,
As September begins, the energy is building toward an extraordinary Peace Day on September 21st. Never before have so many organizations come together to pool our efforts at building global support for this annual focus on peace. For those who are disheartened by the violent conflicts in various parts of the world, the International Day of Peace offers the hope of a new day dawning where people of all nations and cultures work together to build a worldwide culture of peace.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in his message marking the 100-Day Countdown to the International Day of Peace on June 13, “History has shown that, no matter how fierce, conflict can end, peace can prevail and reconciliation can triumph. […] Over the coming 100 days we need to unite as a human family to deliver the right to peace by encouraging fighters to lay down their arms.”
Some of the groups that have spearheaded this special spirit of cooperation include Pathways To Peace, The World Peace Prayer Society, United Religions Initiative, Jane Goodall Institute, Cercle de Paix, International Cities of Peace, Unify, We, The World, Unity Foundation, Peace Day Philly, The Peace School, The Shift Network, Kosmos Journal, Be The Peace, the Gaiafield Project, PeaceLink Live, Compassion Games, and all of those working with the Peace Teams associated with the International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the UN. These groups share a focus on the Minute of Silence observed at 12 Noon in every time zone, creating a wave of peace that circles the globe.
Events may be posted at www.internationaldayofpeace.org, which just got a new look. Please see a partial list of the thousands of activities planned for the 2014 International Day of Peace attached, with special thanks to Kosmos and the Shift Network for generously listing many of them on their sites. Be sure to follow the International Day of Peace Facebook page to keep abreast of the news and use @peaceday and #peaceday on Twitter.
The 2014 Peace Day Global Broadcast at www.peaceday.tv will begin at 12 Noon (Pacific Time) on Saturday, September 20 and continue until midnight (Pacific Time) on Sunday, September 21. The broadcast program will then stream in continuous rotation until September 20th and 21st, 2015. Unity Foundation has :30 and :60 PSAs available. If you would like to receive the PSAs to forward to your media contacts, please email Bill McCarthy @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secretary-General also mentioned the power of music: “On 21 September, at concerts around the world — in major cities and small towns, in conflict zones and peaceful communities – people will broadcast this essential message. They will celebrate the value of human diversity and the strength of our unity.” An example is the concert that Peace One Day is organizing at Goma International Airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that is expected to unite more than 50,000 people to celebrate the hope for peace on September 21. And MasterPeace is organizing peace concerts for peace and disarmament in over 40 countries on September 21 in The Netherlands, from Kathmandu to Los Angeles, and from Mexico City via Istanbul to Cairo. Remember to ask your local radio station to play a set or a song for peace!
Please note this year’s theme, chosen by the United Nations, is “The Right of Peoples to Peace.” There is information on this vital theme, as well as the beautiful poster, at http://www.un.org/peaceday. As this page affirms, “The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”
Last, but certainly not least, there is a strong focus at the United Nations this September on the Sustainable Development Goals that will supplant the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. And Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting a major Climate Summit on September 23, which inspired a huge People’s Climate March that will take place in New York City – on the International Day of Peace! So let us all take to heart the vital foundation of peace that is key to all hope for sustainability in an uncertain future.
The time is now – and we are ready! Infinite gratitude to all of you who are putting your passion to work so that future generations may enjoy the Right of Peoples to Peace in the peaceful, joyful, healthy world of our dreams.
May Peace Prevail on Earth!
Deborah, Monica, Michael and Shawn
Co-Chairs, The International Day of Peace NGO Committee at the United Nations
CELEBRATE THE UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE ON SEPTEMBER 21!
P.S. to those in the NY area: United Nations High Level Forum on The Culture of Peace will be held on Tuesday, September 9 at United Nations Headquarters. Registration closes today at http://www.gmcop.org/registration/. See you there!