Peace Above All Differences
Let me get a Peace! On September 21st approaches, we observe the International Day of Peace, a global call to strengthen the ideals of peace and work towards a harmonious world. In this blog, we’ll explore the history of this significant day, the 2023 theme, examples of peace-building efforts, and how you can actively take part in fostering a culture of peace.
History: The Birth of International Day of Peace
The International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, was established by the United Nations in 1981 with the aim of promoting peace, security, and cooperation among nations . Originally slated to be observed on the third Tuesday in September, the date was fixed as September 21 in 2001, and it has been celebrated on this day since 2002 . This annual event seeks to encourage nations to commit to non-violence and create a world free from conflict.
The 2023 Theme is Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals
This year’s International Day of Peace centers around the theme “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals.” The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, emphasizes that peace is needed now more than ever. The devastating consequences of wars and conflicts, the climate crisis, and rising inequalities underscore the urgency to foster peace and unity .
As 2023 marks the midpoint in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this day aligns with the SDG Summit (18 – 19 September). The SDGs envision a world of just and inclusive societies, where fear and violence are replaced with compassion and cooperation . The SDGs rely on collective action, with over 1.2 billion young people playing a pivotal role in shaping a brighter future for all.
Examples of Peace-Building Efforts
The International Day of Peace inspires various activities and events worldwide. Nations observe 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire, demonstrating their commitment to peace . Educational events and campaigns are organized to raise awareness about global issues and the role each individual can play in creating a culture of peace .
One notable symbol of peace is the Peace Bell, donated by the United Nations Association of Japan in 1954. Traditionally rung twice a year, on the first day of spring and on September 21, the Peace Bell serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to strengthen the ideals of peace .
Taking Action: How to Participate in International Day of Peace
Embracing peace begins with each one of us. Here are some impactful ways to actively participate in the International Day of Peace:
- Promote Non-Violence: Start conversations about non-violence and peacebuilding in your community and social circles. Advocate for peaceful resolutions to conflicts, both on a local and global scale.
- Engage with the SDGs: Familiarize yourself with the Sustainable Development Goals and their importance in creating a more equitable world. Support initiatives that align with the SDGs, such as fighting inequality, taking action on climate change, and promoting human rights.
- Educate and Inspire: Host educational events or discussions about peace, inclusivity, and empathy. Encourage young people to be positive and constructive agents of change, contributing to a sustainable and peaceful future.
- Participate in Peaceful Activities: Join local peace rallies, community events, or online campaigns that advocate for peace and unity. Use the power of social media to spread messages of peace and understanding.
- Minute of Silence: Observe a minute of silence at noon on September 21 to honor those affected by conflicts and violence and to reaffirm your commitment to peace.
- Support Peace Initiatives: Contribute to organizations and initiatives that work towards conflict resolution, humanitarian aid, and peace-building efforts globally.
Uniting for a Peaceful Future
As we commemorate the International Day of Peace, let us remember that peace begins with each one of us. Together, we can bridge divides, embrace diversity, and work towards a world where peace, love, and understanding prevail. By taking action and fostering a culture of peace, we contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and create a more just and inclusive world for all .
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