Friday, 21 September 2012

A Call to All for World Peace

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power
the world will know peace”
Jimi Hendrix

Today is the United Nation’s International Peace Day.  Each year on September 21, the UN invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities and commemorate the International Day of Peace through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. In the quest for peace, the Universal Peace Federation and its Ambassadors for Peace around the world organize commemorations of the International Day of Peace each year. The theme for 2012 is:
Armed conflicts rob people of the opportunity to develop, create jobs, safeguard the environment, fight poverty, reduce the risk from disasters, advance social equity, and ensure that everyone has enough to eat. We want a future where natural resources are protected and valued rather than used to finance wars, where children can be educated at school and not recruited into armies, where economic and social inequalities are resolved through dialogue instead of violence.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Message to the World:
“On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls for a complete cessation of hostilities around the world.
We also ask people everywhere to observe a minute of silence, at noon local time, to honour the victims – those who have lost their lives, and those who survived but must now cope with trauma and pain.
The theme of this year's observance is "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future".
Armed conflicts attack the very pillars of sustainable development.
Natural resources must be used for the benefit of society, not to finance wars.
Children should be in school, not recruited into armies.
National budgets should focus on building human capacity, not deadly weapons.
On the International Day of Peace, I call on combatants around the world to find peaceful solutions to their conflicts.
Let us all work together for a safe, just and prosperous future for all.”

The United Nations Messengers of Peace 2012:
Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein - known for her commitment to humanitarian causes - she is dedicated to helping raise global awareness of the Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
Daniel Barenboim - acclaimed conductor and pianist - he will continue to promote peace and tolerance through the shared language of music. 
George Clooney - using his global appeal and wide ranging talents as an actor, producer, screen writer and director - he will help raise public awareness and support for United Nations peacekeeping efforts around the world.  
Paulo Coelho – Brazilian author known for his best-selling books, such as “The Alchemist” and “The Pilgrimage – he will continue to promote intercultural dialogue.
Michael Douglas - the internationally known Academy Award-winning actor and producer from the United States  - he is fiercely committed to disarmament issues, including nuclear nonproliferation and halting the global trade in small arms and light weapons.
Jane Goodall – a British pioneer in the study of chimpanzees who began her landmark studies in Africa in 1960 - she will continue to help the United Nations focus attention on environmental issues.
Midori Goto - the violinist who made her historic debut at the age of 11 - she will continue to inspire young people to build a sense of community and learn from each other through music education.
Yo-Yo Ma - renowned cellist and winner of multiple Grammy awards – he is expanding his efforts to expose young audiences to music and promoting the Organization’s values among young people.
Edward Norton - acclaimed actor and two-time Academy Award nominee and is also a committed social and environmental activist. – he will work to move families up and out of poverty and transform low-income communities across the US through the development of decent affordable housing and social service networks.
Charlize Theron - Academy Award-winning actress with a special focus on eliminating violence against women and girls – will continue thriving to create a safer, healthier and better life for impoverished children and their families in South Africa, especially those suffering from HIV/AIDS and will continue urging no tolerance for rape or domestic violence.
Elie Wiesel - Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, writer and human rights activist - he continues to be a vocal advocate of human rights and world peace through The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Stevie Wonder - Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician with a focus on persons with disabilities - his career as a recording artist has reflected his concern with humanitarian issues. He has written, produced and/or performed songs relative to charities in support of disabilities, AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hunger and homelessness, domestic abuse and many other causes on behalf of children and adults.

The Peace Bell
The Japanese Peace Bell is a United Nations peace symbol. It was presented to the United Nations in June 1954 by the United Nations Association of Japan, at a time when Japan had not yet been officially admitted to the United Nations.
Weighing 116 kg, with a height of 1 meter, and 0.6 meter in diameter at the base, the metal in the bell itself was obtained from coins collected by children from the delegates of 60 nations who were attending the 13th General Conference of United Nations Associations held in Paris, France in 1951.
The bell itself is housed in a typically Japanese structure, resembling a Shinto shrine, made of cypress wood. Inscribed on one side of the bell are the Japanese characters that say: "Long live absolute world peace!".

On the International Day of Peace, the Bell is rung at a ceremony at the Peace Bell in which the Secretary-General would deliver a message, followed by a statement from the President of the Security Council.  The President of the General Assembly is also often involved in the ceremony. The commemoration includes other events, taking place around the Peace Bell and around the world, and involves students, musicians, NGOs and other representatives.

How can YOU celebrate World Peace Day?
Say a prayer for peace
Light a candle
Declare peace on the Facebook Group
Get involved ……

Pass the message of peace on to others
Share Your ideas with us


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this Sara. It's a topic I'm passionate about - having lived through a couple of years of civil war in my early days in the Mid-East, and seeing the utter uselessness of conflict to resolve problems. (It's what my novel, The Lebanese Troubles, is about - not the history of the war, but its futility - as it touched real human lives.)

    What makes me saddest is that we don't learn the lessons of history. Almost precisely what happened in Lebanon in the 70s and 80s is happening in Syria today.