International Day of Peace 2011 – 21st September


As I have mentioned before -we should not just consider peace for one day, but it may be worth working on the solidarity aspect and at least use the one day to develop closer partnerships with a wider group of activists and to showcase the innovative ways people are using to counter the arms and war industry (as well as the associated media). Having worked in post conflict situations in East Timor, Comoros,Vietnam,Azerbaijan and Mozambique I know how important education is to provide the range of peace building skills, such as communication skills, as well as the opportunities to cooperate together and succeed together.

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.

In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:

“Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.”


We have to make the efforts to build peace…we need to be pro-active to build peace personally (peace within ourselves) and peace with our neighbours.

Peacebuilding 101

Peacebuilding is different from “peacemaking” and “peacekeeping” in that it focuses on creating a long-term culture of peace, rather than solving existing conflicts or preventing old ones from re-occurring. Peacebuilding activities aim at building understanding and tolerance between individuals, communities and societies and establishing new structures of cooperation. Peacebuilding activities range in scale from personal acts of kindness toward others to global inter-governmental programs.

Definitions of Peacebuilding

Peacebuilding is the construction of new environments and new cultures which transform deficient structures and capabilities which unite the strengths of emerging innovations in all pathways of our local-global planetary life. Peacebuilding creates and maintains beneficial conditions for sustainable (life-enhancing) social, economic, political and spiritual development of all peoples.

(Adapted from speech given at UN by PTP and “An Agenda for Peace”, a UN Report of the Secretary-General, 1992)

Unlike peace-making and peace-keeping, which are related to warfare and settlement of conflicts, “…the concept of peace-building (is) the construction of a new environment — the transformation of deficient national structures and capabilities, and — the strengthening of new democratic institutions.”

(Excerpted from “An Agenda for Peace”, a UN Report of the Secretary-General in January 1992, which globally and officially recognized the emerging field of peacebuilding.)

“We need to build not only geographical but spiritual bridges between people and strengthen the intellectual, cultural and communication linkages between our societies. (Let us) stand ready to participate in the effort to promote social integration and create a culture of peace.”

(From UNESCO PRESS Report at World Summit for Social Development by Director-General UNESCO, Frederico Mayor)

“Where there is peace, there is culture; where there is culture, there is peace.”

(Nicholas Roerich)

“Positive creativeness is the fundamental quality of the human spirit. Let us welcome all those who, surmounting personal difficulties, — propel their spirits to the task of peaceBuilding, thus ensuring a radiant future.”

(Nicholas Roerich)

The UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)

The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is a new intergovernmental advisory body of the United Nations that supports peace efforts in countries emerging from conflict, and is a key addition to the capacity of the international community in the broad peace agenda.

The Peacebuilding Commission plays a unique role in

  1. bringing together all of the relevant actors, including international donors, the international financial institutions, national governments, troop contributing countries;
  2. marshalling resources and
  3. advising on and proposing integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery and where appropriate, highlighting any gaps that threaten to undermine peace.

The concurrent General Assembly and Security Council resolutions establishing the Peacebuilding Commission also provided for the establishment of a Peacebuilding Fund and Peacebuilding Support Office, which together form the United Nations peacebuilding architecture.

The PBC is mandated to: “marshal resources and to advise on and propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery.” The PBC focuses attention on reconstruction, institution-building and sustainable development, in countries emerging from conflict. It is specifically mandated to:

  • Propose integrated strategies for post-conflict peacebuilding and recovery;
  • Help to ensure predictable financing for early recovery activities and sustained financial investment over the medium- to longer-term;
  • Extend the period of attention the international community gives to post-conflict recovery;
  • Develop best practices on issues that require extensive collaboration among political, security, humanitarian and development actors.

For more information about the UN Peacebuilding Commission, please visit:

                  A global ceasefire?

Along with being designated by the UN as the International Day of Peace, September 21 is also a day of Global Ceasefire. By acknowledging a unified day without violence, a Global Ceasefire can provide hope for citizens who must endure war and conflict; it proves that worldwide peace is possible. A cessation of hostilities for 24 hours can also enable relief workers to reach civilians in need with food, water, and medical supplies.

In a speech given on the day of Global Ceasefire in 2002, Nasra Hassan, the Chief of Inter-Agency Relations and Fund Raising Branch at ODCCP and former Chief of the United Nations Peacekeeping Best Practices Unit, said that,

“There had to be work on development issues such as drugs and crime otherwise it would not be possible to have a sustainable peace. Ceasefires which were a message of hope to people, were a temporary solution which offered the time and space for an enduring peace to be negotiated and implemented.”

The importance of a Global Ceasefire has also been stressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a speech at the 2007 Peace Bell ringing ceremony, he said,

“I call for a day of global ceasefire: A 24-hour respite from the fear and insecurity that plague so many places. I urge all countries and all combatants to honor a cessation of hostilities. I urge them to ponder the high price that we all pay because of conflict. I urge them to vigorously pursue ways to make this temporary ceasefire permanent.”


Links and activities:

Peace Week 2011,was inspired byPathways To Peaceand is a special program of theCulture of Peace Initiative; it occurs from September 15- 21. You are invited to celebrate Peace Week with inspiring Peacebuilders such as Alice Walker, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Arun Gandhi, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Avon Mattison, Daniel Goleman, Jane Velez-Mitchell and many more.Peace Week 2011is a global telesummit and its completelyfree! This virtual peace week will offer profound insights that will help create Peace in ones life, family, community and the world. Last year more than 20,000 people registered from 152 countries. Pathways To Peace is delighted to co-sponsor this telesummit, which features dozens of galvanizing and action-oriented sessions all of which are recorded and freely available. When you sign up, you also gain access to the full library of recordings from last year’s peace week. Sign up for free on this link Join with participants of theCulture of Peace Initiativeand thousands of others from around the world — all of whom deeply care about the future of our planet and the potential for humanity to make a profound shift from a culture of violence and competition to a Culture of Peace and cooperation.

The 11 Days of Global Unity: This year marks the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11th and the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace. The 11 Days of Global Unity spans these observances.The 11 Days ~ 11 Ways Campaignfeatures events around the world by hundreds of organizations and their local affiliates. Each of the 11 days has a theme: Unity, Interdependence, Environment, Economic Justice, Health, Children & Youth, Women, Human Rights, Freedom, Disarmament, and the International Day of Peace. This program is coordinated by We, the World cooperation with the United Religions Initiativewww.uri.orgas well as the World Peace Prayer Societywww.worldpeace.organd Pathways To

There are already hundreds of events listed on the websites  and, representing countries as diverse as: Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Guam, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States and the Virgin Islands. There will be many more listed by Peace Day.  Also, there are numerous organizations that each have hundreds (or thousands) of ‘local’ or regional events. Many of these can be found at the following link on the website; some even have their own events listings:

This year’s observance of the International Day of Peace at UN Headquartersin New York will be held the morning of Sept. 15th (due to logistics). It will feature the ringing of the Peace Bell and an address by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as a Moment of Silence for Peace; a ‘Flags of the World’ ceremony lead by the World Peace Prayer Society; and a Youth Event featuring United Nations Messengers of Peace Michael Douglas, who brings a special focus on disarmament; Jane Goodall, who brings a special focus on the environment; and Stevie Wonder, who brings a special focus on people with disabilities – along with several youth ambassadors from UNICEF and other organizations or countries. It will be webcast by the UN at

Our Facebook Pagecontains news and postings from all over the world. We have over 36,000 people there. More importantly, hundreds of people and organizations have posted about their Peace Day events on our Facebook page. Please check it out and network with others there. Also feel free to share this Facebook page with friends or members of your

The Minute of Silence for Peace at Noon in All Time Zones– as requested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon – is a Facebook event that has been created. There are already over 13,000 people participating in this one event – along with millions of others worldwide participating through numerous other events. Please join in thisPeace Wave, as it travels around – and envelopes – the world; and please help by inviting friends through this link.!/event.php?eid=184359108294303

The PeaceDay TV Global Broadcast begins Sept. 17th and runs through Sept. 21st, the International Day of Peace. This 5 day broadcast will be available on thousands of websites and in millions of homes via satellite TV. It features the work of thousands of local and international organizations working for peace and sustainability all across the planet, as well as endorsements and presentations from hundreds of world leaders, public figures and entertainers. One focus will be theUN Millennium Development Goals:End Poverty, Education for All, Gender Equality, Child Mortality, Maternal Health, Combat Disease, The Environment, and Global Partnering. This broadcast can be viewed at The celebration will stream live from the website of the United Nations; also, you or your organization can embed this broadcast on your websites through this link The “Peace Day” 2011 Global Broadcast is produced by Unity Foundation All Things Peace

Our promotional video for the International Day of Peacehas been updated to reflect this year’s 30th anniversary. Feel free to circulate it in all forms of media to promote your part in this global observance. .

The Nonviolent Peace Forceis asking, Will you give one day for peace?” Join those peacekeepers and thousands of others around the world in pledging to do your part to prevent violence and promote peace on September 21, International Day of Peace. Take the pledge at

Amnesty Internationalis holding a series of Peace-In workshops related to the UN International Day of Peace. Topics cover peace and justice, and ensuring human rights; and include: maternal mortality and health care for women, death penalty, immigrants rights, security with human rights, and violence against women.

The Peace Corpis celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; and some affiliates are conducting membership drives in conjunction with the International Day of Peace.

Pinwheels for Peacewill again be the primary ‘Peace Day’ activity in thousands of schools around the world. Last year children created over 3.5 million pinwheels upon which their thoughts about peace were written. These pinwheels were then planted outside so they could spin in the wind and spread thoughts of ‘whirled peace’

The Circle of Peace in Canada helped gain recognition of the International Day of Peace by the Canadian Government. This organization works with many groups on many types of observances of the International Day of Peace. Their home page features a fabulous video about peace, called ‘Light Up the World’. Many of their events are listed on this facebook link

The United Network of Youth Peacebuildersis a global network of 50 youth-led organizations working towards establishing peaceful societies. They will be celebrating the International Day of Peace in The Hague between Sept. 17th and Sept.

Did you know that over the years groups as diverse asThe African Union, The Arab League, NATO, the Taliban,andthe Catholic Churchhave observed or recognized the International Day of Peace?

The United Religions Initiativehas been described as a ‘united nations’ for religious organizations. It is a global community dedicated to promoting daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence and creating cultures of peace, justice and healing. The URI’s hundreds of interfaith circles observe the International Day of Peace in both prayer and action /

The World Peace Prayer Societyis dedicated to spreading the message:May Peace Prevail On Earth. They have several programs, including a day long Call to Peace, at their sanctuary in upstate New York on Sept. 25th. Through theirPeace Pole Projectover 200,000 Peace Poles have been planted around the world in the past 20 years with the words May Peace Prevail On Earth inscribed on all 4, 6 or 8 sides – each in a different language. Many Unitarian Churches, Montessori Schools and other organizations have a Peace

Danny Garcia of Global Walk Internationalis planning an 11 day walk for children and peace in Costa Rica from Sept. 11 – 21 celebrating 11 Days of Global Unity and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Peace. A Peace Pole will be presented on the 21st on behalf of the people of Costa Rica.

Jane Goodall will host a Town Meeting in Washington, DC on the International Day of Peace. Dr. Goodall, will preside over this one-of-a-kind event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace resolution and the annual Roots & Shoots observances of this occasion.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflictfocuses on the role of civil society in creating peace. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it is an umbrella group for over 1,000 peacebuilding organizations worldwide. It’sPeople Building Peaceprogram encourages annual observances of the International Day of Peace worldwide.www.gppac.netand

Here’s an idea that many people can do.Have a peace party! The ingredients are simple, meaningful and easy to remember: 3 F’s and 3 M’s. Friends, Family and Food; Meditation, Meaningful discussion and Monetary contributions. We call it FUNdraising; and we suggest you raise money for 2 causes – one local and one global.

Organize a Free Hugs for World Peaceevent in your city. There are already over 40 cities in 21 countries doing it on Sep 21. A compilation video will be made and put to a “peace” song. Sign up at Here’s the promo video:

The Peace International Foundationwill launch the Hong Kong Peace Festival 2011 from September 18-23rd, including a UN International Day of Peace Ceremony, the Peace International Youth Choir D颵t, a 3-day Peace International Youth Conference, a UN Peace Day Benefit Gala Dinner/Music & Arts Performances/Auction, and an International Cultural Show & Ethnic Food Fair. <>

The Peace Service Center in Nepalhas planned a 5-day long program from Sept. 19-23 to enable and energize all people to plant the seeds of peace for a better and more peaceful world. Events range from a childrens art competition and youth conference with various schools participating to a Peace Prayer and Peace Lamp Lighting in Sacred Places in three different temples on 21 September, then special interfaith prayers in Kathmandu.

From Argentina:Let the Bells Ring for Peace– and let peace prevail in the whole world and in every person’s heart. We love this one minute youtube.

The Peace One Day Celebrationon Sept. 21st at the O2 Arena in London will launch the 365-day countdown to aGlobal Truce on Peace Day 2012. The first of a series of three concerts will feature artists Yusuf (Cat Stevens), Eliza Doolittle, Youssou NDour, Afroreggae, Flawless and the English National Ballet. Speakers will include Jude Law and Peace One Day founder and filmmaker Jeremy

Instruments of Peaceis hosting the “PEACE is the ground we share” International Peace Conference at the Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland on 21st September 2011, featuring international speakers, music, youth and an open forum.

Peace DayPhilly 2011, Sept. 21, sponsored by the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia, will be the first ever citywide observance of Peace Day for this ‘city of brotherly love’. Mayor Michael A. Nutter said, “As we look forward to the United Nations International Day of Peace, we must focus on creating a unified community where people feel safe. Peace Day is an opportunity to participate in events across the city that promote peace and non-violence.”

The 5th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festivalin Honokaa has become a symbol of the fact that the state of Hawaii officially recognizes the International Day of Peace.

The World Peace Film FestivalSept 20th – 25th in Central Florida is a celebratory event and a place to honor those who promote global and community awareness of peace and environmental sustainability.

The Universal Peace Federationlists events in Ghana, Japan, Gabon, Ireland, Peru, Norway, Ecuador, Latvia, Barbados, Thailand, Germany, Argentina, Switzerland and more. The International Day of Peace 2011 comes at a time when peoples and nations around the world are facing challenges of dramatic

Rotary International, with 34,000 Rotary Clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, have embraced the call for peace at the grass-roots level by addressing the underlying causes of conflict and violence through thousands of community-based service projects around the world. They are calling for more participation during the period from 9/11 to 9/21, the International Day of Here’s an example from Winnipeg, Canada.

International Day of Peace / Peace Pals Art Exhibition / Ambassador of Peace Collection: The Peace Pals Ambassador of Peace collection features artwork of youth between the ages of 5 and 16 representing over 60 countries. Each artwork is a masterpiece giving expression to the inner beauty inherent within the hearts of youth everywhere. Included on each artwork is the message, “May Peace Prevail On Earth”. The Exhibition is made possible through a joint collaboration between theCulture of Peace InitiativeandPeace Pals International. To organize your International Day of Peace Peace Pals Art Exhibition go to:

Peace X Peacelifts and multiplies women’s voices, strengthens women’s capacity to connect across divides and promotes leadership and gender equality through their global network of peacebuilders in 120 countries. One example is their fundraising to donate wireless computers to women in villages throughout Here is their recent newsletter dedicated to the International Day of Peace.PeaceTimes Edition 115: Collaborating for Peace | Peace X Peace

Download the Ceasefire poster, created by youth for youth:

There are  hundreds of events listed on these websites,


How Youth Drive Change…new publication

Following on from the post on International Youth Day ,it is worth exploring more ways in which youth are taking charge of their world through innovative activities.

This report from UNESCO was highlighted by INEE in the recent newsletter.

The world population of 15- to 24-year-olds represents more than a billion hopes for a better future, more than a billion ideas to change the world in constructive ways, more than a billion potential solutions to the problems of today. With or without academic degrees, free or determined to become free, young people are reinventing culture, taking control of the new media, recreating how we relate to each other.

The full report is available here.

Education for All – Making the right to education part of every child’s reality. New publication

PUBLICATION: Education for All – Making the right to education part of every child’s reality
(Save the Children)  

With four years to go until the 2015 deadline to achieve universal primary education, there is a lot to celebrate. Out-of-school numbers have been dropping and progress has been made towards the Education for All goals. This brief highlights areas in need of greater attention and key recommendations to address challenges in ensuring all children are in school by 2015.


The full report is available here.