International Day of Peace 2014 and other peace initiatives

One day is not enough – but we have to keep trying, being an optimist.

What does shock me is the amount of interest there is in war -whether in the media, politics, the war and weapons industry – even in charities such as ‘hope for heroes’ which has huge fundraising power. Are there no heroes/heroines in the Peace industry?

Where is the Peace industry? I suppose it is not ‘sexy’ ; it does not produce profits for share holders and certainly demands commitment. So I just hope that the tide will turn one day and the bandwagon will be for Peace, not war – and many will jump on to it.

International Day of Peace 2014










Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.

From INEE 

Sunday 21 September is the International Day of Peace. On this day, the United Nations invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities and to otherwise commemorate the day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

Every year, around the world, old conflicts worsen, new conflicts emerge and, occasionally, some situations improve. As noted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, “Armed conflict causes untold grief to families, communities and entire countries. Too many are suffering today at the brutal hands of warmongers and terrorists. We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict. Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today.”The International Day of Peace allows millions of people around the world to participate in activities, events, concerts and festivals, recognizing that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of human rights.“Rights of Peoples to Peace”To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is “The Right of Peoples to Peace.”  This anniversary offers a unique opportunity for the United Nations to reaffirm its commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded, as well as to promote the necessity of peace in the pursuit of human rights.How to get involved

  • Join people across the world in a minute of silence/ moment of peace at 12 noon in every time zone.
  • Tweet, post, and share your thoughts, pictures and messages of peace throughout the day using#PeaceDay.
  • Sign the “I am a Pathway to Peace” Pledge to show your commitment to peace.
  • Join the global event for social change through music by joining in on the 4th annual Playing for Change Day on 20 September.
  • Participate in PeaceCast, a free, not-for-profit webcast streaming video online that will run continuously for 48 hours spanning all global time zones, starting from Peace Day’s first minute on September 21, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand until its last in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Watch the 36 hour, 6th Annual broadcast live from the United Nations including music, messages of peace from celebrities and humanitarians, and educational presentations.

For more information, and to find a full list of events happening near you, check out the International Day of Peace website.



EU Children of Peace: Providing Education in a Safe Environment
European Commission

The EU Children of Peace initiative, a legacy programme created from the EU’s 2012 Nobel Peace prize,funds humanitarian projects supporting children’s needs in conflict regions and draws an effort to render their often forgotten plight visible. These projects particularly seek to address a severely underfunded sector: education in emergencies.

As part of the initiative, children from a number of regions affected by conflict – from Iraq, to South Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia and Ecuador have participated in an originalmusic video on peace. This video collage joining together each of the projects aims to draw attention to the children – the most innocent of victims and often the hardest hit by conflict. It will be released on the International Day of Peace, 21 September.To read the full text, please click here**




Children and Armed Conflict: Report of the Secretary-General
UN Security Council

The annual report of the Secretary-General to the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict provides an overview of six ‘grave violations’ committed against children, the measures taken to protect them, and recommendations for further action. Attacks on schools are a common feature in the majority of the situations documented in the report: 17 of the 23 conflicts profiled include targeted attacks on schools, students, and/or teachers.

Read this press release by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack on the newly released report.

Protecting Education Personnel from Targeted Attack in Conflict-Affected Countries
Global Coalition to Protect Education from AttackTeachers have risked their lives just going to work in over 20 countries in the past several decades.Targeted by both government security forces and armed groups, education personnel have been caught in the middle of political, ideological, sectarian, and military struggles in conflict-affected countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. This briefing paper focuses specifically on targeted attacks on elementary and secondary education personnel and measures implemented to protect them.The paper addresses the scope nature, and motives of attacks on education personnel; the impacts of attacks on teachers, the education system, and the larger society; and the range of measures that have been undertaken by communities, policymakers, advocacy groups, UN agencies, and teachers themselves to protect education personnel from attacks and prevent them from recurring.

To download the full paper, click here.


From Conciliation Resources:

International Literacy Day 2014

Just been working with teachers in Zambia -some have ZERO reading books in their classroom and many have less than 10. This is an area with their local language of Bemba, so a few reading books in English is not going to help when they come to having to take a leaving exam in English.

Literacy development, in such confusing situations, is common in many countries, and a concerted policy and implementation process to get the best out of these children and young people. A whole generation can lose their right to quality education, due to a lack of vision and resources , in terms of literacy. One day is not enough , but we have to kkep trying 🙂



Literacy is a human right. It is a tool for personal empowerment and essential for sustainable development, poverty reduction, gender equality, maternal health, child mortality reduction, and peace and democracy. – UNESCO

Celebrated on September 8th of each year, International Literacy Day serves as a reminder of the status of literacy worldwide and of the importance of literacy in peace, development, poverty eradication, empowerment, health and gender equality.

While the number of illiterate persons has fallen over the past decade, 781 million adults, two-thirds of whom are women, still lack basic reading and writing skills. An additional 126 million youth are considered to be illiterate. More than one-half (53%) of the global illiterate population reside in South and West Asia, 24% in sub-Saharan Africa, 12% in East Asia and the Pacific, 6.6% in the Arab States and 4.2% in Latin America and the Caribbean. Less than 2% of the remaining global illiterate population live in the remaining regions combined. Living in conflict-affected areas increases the likelihood of individuals not becoming literate or gaining access to education. An estimated 28.5 million primary school aged children remain out of school in conflict affected countries. For more information on adult and youth literacy rates, click here.

While much progress has been made in improving adult and youth literacy over the past two decades and literacy rates are estimated to continue to improve in the coming years, continued efforts are needed to lessen the vast number of illiterate adults and children worldwide. Literacy not only helps reduce poverty and enables people to find jobs, but it is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children. UNESCO estimates that the lives of more than two million children under the age of five were saved between 1990 and 2009 because of improvements in the education of reproductive age women. Literacy also facilitates peace and democracy within societies, as poorly-literate individuals are less likely to participate in democratic processes and have fewer chances to exercise their civil rights.

Literacy and Sustainable Development

The theme of International Literacy Day 2014 is “Literacy and Sustainable Development.”  As UNESCO notes, literacy is a key element in empowering people so that they can make the right decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration. It plays a critical role in the development of sustainable, prosperous and peaceful societies.

International Literacy Day iscelebrated worldwide with the main global celebration taking place in Dhaka. The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh in partnership with UNESCO, in support of the UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), is hosting an International Conference on Girls’ and women’s literacy and education titled: “Foundations for sustainable development.” The UNESCO Literacy Prizes will also be awarded.