Universal Children’s Day 2015 – Stop Violence Against Children

The date 20 November marks the day on which the Assembly adopted theDeclaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

The Convention, which is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children’s rights including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard.


Of course children can be anything -but are they all given the opportunities to meet that goal?

Some children only know violence – and being so young they start to believe that this is normal -being beaten at home, bullied at school, caught in the crossfire, watching their parents being murdered in front of them. This is no start for children and it should not be normal!

Education has to be threat – free -no corporal punishment or humiliation -this does not help children learn.

Arms manufacturers and dealers should face the children that they are determined to injure, maim and kill -stare into their eyes while they make their deals and promote their ‘products’! When will we ever learn?


Emerging Practices for DM&E in Education for Peacebuilding Programming
Search for Common Ground

Practical Guide  

Search for Common Ground, in partnership with UNICEF, is very excited to announce the launch of the Emerging Practices in Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Education for Peacebuilding Programming Guide, a step forward in bridging the gap of designing M&E systems for education for peacebuilding programming. The Guide presents critical information, practical tips, resources and tools for all stages in program cycles to help capture and assess education for peacebuilding’s potential impact and contribution to sustainable, transformative change.”

Click here to download the Guide.










HRW Report on Barriers to Education for Syrian Refugee Children in Turkey
Human Rights Watch 

Prior to the conflict, the primary school enrollment rate in Syria was 99 percent and lower secondary school enrollment was 82 percent, with high gender parity. Today, nearly 3 million Syrian children inside and outside the country are out of school, according to UNICEF estimates—demolishing Syria’s achievement of near universal education before the war.This report is the first of a three-part series addressing the urgent issue of access to education for Syrian refugee schoolchildren in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.The series will examine the various barriers preventing Syrian children from accessing education and call on host governments, international donors, and implementing partners to mitigate their impact in order to prevent a lost generation of Syrian children.

This report is primarily based on research conducted in June 2015 in Istanbul, Izmir, Turgutlu, Gaziantep, Mersin, and Ankara. Human Rights Watch interviewed non-camp Syrian refugee families to assess their educational situations. We focused on non-camp refugees because of the low rate of enrollment among non-camp refugees in comparison to the high rate inside camps.

Click here to download the full report.



High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioners Mimica, Stylianides and Jourová on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day:

We are finally entering the much anticipated post-2015 era: leaders from all over the world have committed to goals which shall improve the lives of millions of children. Had we achieved all the goals we had previously set, our task today would be much easier. In fact, the road ahead is still very long. The post-2015 must be different. We must act more decisively and consistently than ever, to make sure that in the next fifteen years we will truly turn the page. Let us aim high, and try to build a world that does not need a post-2030 Agenda. 

Strengthening child protection systems is one of our priorities, as outlined in the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. We have launched a diplomatic outreach with a global focus on all forms of violence against children and women and a focus on ending child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting.

While we address long lasting cruel practices, the current refugee crisis and the dire consequences for migrant, refugee and internally displaced children adds a new dimension of urgency. Half of the world refugees are children: they need to be treated first and foremost as children. Their protection and rights, including their right to education and non-discrimination, must be a priority, including within the European borders. Increasing cooperation between child protection systems could improve their protection when they seek asylum status in the EU. Despite the global declining trend in funding, the EU has already increased its commitment to education in emergencies. We cannot afford to have lost generations of children with no or little education.

Protecting child victims of trafficking and sexual or non-sexual exploitation and enhancing cooperation on these issues with non-EU countries and international organizations are part of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking of Human Beings 2012-2016. The EU is also a defender of Fifth Goal of Agenda 2030 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. This week new EU rules on victim’s rights entered into force. Under these new rules children are entitled to special protection as vulnerable victims in all European criminal justice systems.

Promoting children’s rights worldwide requires close cooperation with international organizations and UN bodies. The EU has always promoted such cooperation and keeps reinforcing it. Boys and girls are not only the future of our societies: they are the present. If we deprive them of their fundamental rights, we deprive ourselves of their richness. And we fail in our fundamental duties. Global peace and security cannot be achieved without fair and sustainable development and respect for all the rights of all children. One day they will be adults.  The way we protect our world and our children will impact on how they will protect their own world and their own children, in a not-so-distant future.”


see also https://rayharris57.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/universal-childrens-day-20th-november-2012/ for resources


International Day of Peace – September 21

I was speaking to my friend Jim, saying that for decades we have been working in education, with one of the  objectives being to provide opportunities for young people to live peacefully together for the safety of themselves and for the sutainability of our planet. I was getting quite pessimistic about the ‘rule of the gun’ and how arms are so easily obtained and how civilians are the biggest casualty in conflicts these days. Jim was a bit more optimistic quoting some statistics about the improving situation with regards to globally. We will continue to discuss and act for a beter future. In the meantime -it may just be one day but the International Day of Peace at least allows some to reflect on how to build a more peaceful and sustainable future.

“Let us work together to ensure that the Road from Rio leads us to sustainable development, sustainable peace… and a secure future for all.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Towards the ideals of peace

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

Sustainable Peace…

This year, world leaders, together with civil society, local authorities and the private sector, will be meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to renew political commitment to long term sustainable development.

It is in the context of the Rio+20 Conference that “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” is the theme chosen for this year’s observance of the International day of Peace.

There can be no sustainable future without a sustainable peace. Sustainable peace must be built on sustainable development.

…From Sustainable Development…

The root causes of many conflicts are directly related to or fuelled by valuable natural resources, such as diamonds, gold, oil, timber or water. Addressing the ownership, control and management of natural resources is crucial to maintaining security and restoring the economy in post-conflict countries.

Good natural resource management can play a central role in building sustainable peace in post-conflict societies.

…For a Sustainable Future

The International Day of Peace offers people globally a shared date to think about how, individually, they can contribute to ensuring that natural resources are managed in a sustainable manner, thus reducing  potential for disputes, and paving the road to a sustainable future, the “Future We Want“.

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.”

Scientists call for more research on Peace

From  SciDev.net:

On International Day of Peace (21 September), some scientists are calling for more research on peacekeeping and closer collaboration with their Southern partners.

“We conceive of peace not as some ethically consigned abstraction, but as a theme that is also accessible to scientific research,” Laurent Goetschel, professor of political science at the University of Basel and Director of the Swiss Peace Foundation, swisspeace, whose strapline is ‘Knowledge for Peace’, told SciDev.Net.

One way of doing research on peace is to apply the methodology of science to understanding the processes that lead to peace, according to Goetschel, who also spoke about the issue at the 3rd International Conference on Research for Development last month (20–22 August).

“‘We can look at the causes of conflict, be they economic, political, historical, legal or whatever. We can also look at models for making forecasts, so we’re talking about political early warning. swisspeace has developed an early-warning programme called FAST, which was developed after the Rwanda Burundi massacres.”

The system uses event data analysis to collect, sequence and analyse news agency articles and has been used in around 25 countries.

“We didn’t have enough news items for many of these regions, since conflict-prone regions are often places where there is not much media interest except in relation to conflict situations. So we established local information networks to help us.”

A criticism of this approach, modelling based on news reports, is that it has not yet prevented a conflict, though, and Laurent Goetschel is the first to admit this failing.

“The problem is that science is often too late. We generate knowledge which comes after things have happened. You have these mechanisms working at the scientific level but practitioners expect quick answers to concrete questions, and from a scientific point of view this is often rather difficult.'”

But Goetschel said that despite the difficulties, more can and should be done to research issues around peacekeeping.

“We need research programmes which do research in conflict areas, after all the object of peace research is to be applied. We need more capacity — whether it be in Central Asia or in Sub–Saharan countries. This is the big challenge. My message to researchers working on peace in these countries is that they should do consultancies to survive — but remain scientific in their hearts.”

His words are echoed by Susan Wolfinbarger, director of the Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project, a part of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Her group has successfully used geospatial technology to document human rights abuses around the world, especially in remote or dangerous locations; one example wasEyes on Darfur, in which the group used satellite imagery to document the destruction of villages in Sudan that lead to an arrest warrant through the International Criminal Court.

“A very important way in which science contributes to peace is through transitional justice mechanisms,” said Wolfinbarger. “Science can contribute greatly to processes that help societies move out of conflict and toward peace by addressing human rights abuses, through criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, and institutional reforms.

“There is a need for many types of scientists to participate in these mechanisms of justice, from providing evidence to courts and commissions to facilitating data collection through information management systems to applications to aid in reforms to government, improving education and increasing accountability and improving perceptions of government.”

A Second Chance to Put Conflict Sensitivity into Practice?

A Second Chance to Put Conflict Sensitivity into Practice?


The current debates around state fragility and conflict as well as effectiveness and results provide a new momentum for rooting conflict sensitivity in operational practice. This increasing interest undoubtedly is a welcome development. To properly implement conflict sensitivity at the operational level it is necessary to acknowledge the lessons from past failures and address the persisting practical challenges.

To achieve results in difficult environments conflict-sensitive program management must indeed be considered as necessary precondition.

Initially published in K O F F Newsletter Nr. 107 / 01.05.2012

Read full article 

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2012


If every International Women’s Day event held in 2012 includes girls in some way, then thousands of minds will be inspired globally.

Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Organisations, governments, charities and women’s groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs -IWD

Some examples of resources:

Below are examples of some great International Women’s Day resources to share:

– UN Women Secondary School Kit 2012
– Deloitte’s International Women’s Day Toolkit
– We are Equals posters, badges and stickers
– Celebrating Working Women International Women’s Day video

Previous United Nations International Women’s Day themes:

– 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology
– 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all
– 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
– 2008: Investing in Women and Girls
– 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls
– 2006: Women in decision-making
– 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future
– 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS
– 2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
– 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
– 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
– 2000: Women Uniting for Peace
– 1999: World Free of Violence against Women
– 1998: Women and Human Rights
– 1997: Women at the Peace Table
– 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
– 1975: First IWD celebrated by the United Nations

And if you want a longer historical perspective:


From Cultural Survival

In the spirit of the historical value of International Women’s Day, it is also important to understand the struggles Indigenous women face. Gender based violence and gender discrimination is an everyday reality for many Indigenous women. A 1999 study of the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that Native American women are 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually violated than women in the United States in general. In Canada, the rate of single mother Aboriginal families is nearly double that of the general population (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada). In the Somali region of Ethiopia, a recent survey found that the literacy rate for female pastoralists was 4.8 percent, compared to a 22.7 percent literacy rate for male pastoralists (UNPFII).


While these examples paint the gravity of the challenges Indigenous women face, it can also be said that the spirits of Indigenous women remain unbreakable. One of the many things Indigenous women have taught us is that where there is struggle, there is strength, and where there is persecution, there is endurance. While Indigenous women are more likely to be robbed of their lands and languages, there are many Indigenous women like jessie little doe Baird and her language apprentices from the Wampanoag Nation of southeastern Massachusetts, who are revitalizing threatened languages. And while Indigenous women often lack political representation, there are increasing numbers of Indigenous women serving as local, regional, and national representatives as in Peru and Venezuela where Indigenous women have been elected members of their national parliaments. Read more.

  • Watch. Celebrate International Women’s Day and U.S. Women’s History Month with the Independent Television Service’s online film festival featuring “extraordinary women and girls on the front lines of change around the world.” Watch We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân through March 31st and meet Cultural Survival’s Endangered Languages Program partners at the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project: jessie little doe Baird and language apprentices Nitana Hicks, Tracy Kelley, and Melanie Roderick, and the Wampanoag Nation of southeastern Massachusetts.

Red poppies – white poppies: celebrating peace or….?

That time has come round again when everyone is expected to ‘wear their poppy with pride’  – but which colour?

This year it is supposed to be ‘special’ as the numbers ring up 11-11-11 -11.

The colour that gets all the attention, is of course, red . It seems there are more threatening signs that the red poppy pushers are getting a little aggressive in their marketing. Some people who have chosen not to wear it have even faced anger and abuse and accusations of being ‘unpatriotic’.

From Damian Thompson of the Telegraph

But spare a thought, too, for the men and women of theWhite Poppy appeal. And don’t make it a kind thought. This wretched outfit “believes that there are better ways of solving conflicts than killing strangers”. That is how they describe the sacrifice of British and Allied lives in the inescapable war against Nazi Germany and the Axis powers.People who wear white poppies – who include the sanctimonious prats of the “Christian” think tank Ekklesia – not only dishonour our war dead: they also assert their supposed moral superiority over the 40 million Britons who wear British Legion red poppies.What should you do if you see a white poppy wearer today? At the very least – if I may borrow a phrase from my colleague Alan Cochrane – you should give them a cheery wave not involving the use of all your fingers.

The Royal British Legion has quite a narrow remit…

Perhaps best known for the yearly Poppy Appeal and Remembrance services, the Legion is a campaigning organisation that promotes the welfare and interests of current and former members of the British Armed Forces. What is not mentioned and not brought into the ‘remembrance’ is the fact that many civilians engage in the ‘war’ effort such as those working in NGO’s and organisations of the UN and also risk their lives and sometimes are maimed or are killed -they are not ‘servicemen and servicewomen’ so they are not included or ‘remembered’ ..’lest we forget’ has a hollow  ring to it when these people are discussed.

The other aspect is there is no mention of the future, only  ‘current and former members of the British Armed Forces’ . Why not campaign actively to prevent future atrocities? At least use some of the charitable funds to ensure that no child loses their parent in a war and no parent loses a child. This is something we could all support.

And what about a day to consider all the civilian casualties,particularly children, who are maimed and killed by weapons made in the US and UK?  

The Peace Pledge Union promotes the wearing of the white poppy

The power of the white poppy lies in its questioning of the dominant – and fundamentally dishonest – view of war. More than that, it carries the hopes and demands of the mothers, wives, daughters and girlfriends of the men who for whatever reason and in whatever way were diminished by their participation in war. Their hope was that we would find less brutal social institutions to solve problems and resolve conflict.

Now 89 years after the end of the ‘war to end all wars’ we still have a long way to go to put an end to a social institution, which in the last decade alone killed over 10 million children

Civilian fatalities in wartime have climbed from 5 per cent at the turn of the century … to more than 90 per cent in the wars of the 1990s.

New weapons and patterns of conflict that include deliberate attacks against civilians are increasingly turning children into primary targets of war.

“Armed conflict kills and maims more children than soldiers,” notes a new United Nations report by Graça Machel, the UN Secretary-General’s Expert on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children.

“It is a basic need of children to be protected when conflicts threaten, and such protection requires the fulfillment of their rights through the implementation of international human rights and humanitarian law,” the report states.

Modern warfare is often less a matter of confrontation between professional armies than one of grinding struggles between military and civilians in the same country, or between hostile groups of armed civilians. More and more wars are essentially low-intensity internal conflicts, and they are lasting longer. The days of set-piece battles between professional soldiers facing off in a field far from town are long gone. Today, wars are fought from apartment windows and in the lanes of villages and suburbs, where distinctions between combatant and non-combatant quickly melt away.

Civilian fatalities in wartime climbed from 5 per cent at the turn of the century, to 15 per cent during World War I, to 65 per cent by the end of World War II, to more than 90 per cent in the wars of the 1990s

“Not only are large numbers of children killed and injured, but countless others grow up deprived of their material and emotional needs, including the structures that give meaning to social and cultural life,” the report says. “The entire fabric of their societies their homes, schools, health systems and religious institutions are torn to pieces.

The technology of war has also changed in ever more deadly ways. Inexpensive new lightweight weapons have made it tragically easy to use children as the cannon-fodder of modern warfare. In Uganda, an AK-47 which is simple enough for a child of 10 to strip and reassemble can be bought for the same price as a chicken, and in Mozambique for a bag of maize. Thanks to such innovations, by the late 1980s adults had put guns in the hands of as many as 200,000 children under the age of 16 in 25 countries

Children are particularly vulnerable to land-mines in a number of ways. If they are too young to read or are illiterate, signs posted to warn them of the presence of mines are useless. Also, children are far more likely to die from their mine injuries than are adults. Of those maimed children who survive, few will receive prostheses that keep up with the continued growth of their stunted limbs.

Mine removal is a lengthy and expensive business. Weapons that cost as little as $3 each to manufacture can cost up to $1,000 to remove. Land-mines can be blithely spread at rates of over 1,000 per minute, but it may take a skilled expert an entire day just to clear by hand 20-50 square metres of mine-contaminated land.

Major producers of anti-personnel landmines in the last 25 years include the Austria, China, France, Germany, Italy, the former Soviet Union, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam and the former Yugoslavia.

The UK is a major producer of arms -in the top 5 world producers so we have a stake in the impact of these weapons. Just as the slogan ‘polluter pays’ encourages those who produce pollution should clean up afterwards perhaps arms producers have to clean up the mess left after the use of such arms.

Oscar Arias, Noble Peace Prize winner and former president of Costa Rica stated:

When a country decides to invest in arms, rather than in education, housing, the environment, and health services for its people, it is depriving a whole generation of its right to prosperity and happiness. We have produced one firearm for every ten inhabitants of this planet, and yet we have not bothered to end hunger when such a feat is well within our reach. Our international regulations allow almost three-quarters of all global arms sales to pour into the developing world with no binding international guidelines whatsoever. Our regulations do not hold countries accountable for what is done with the weapons they sell, even when the probable use of such weapons is obvious.

He also said “We need to understand that the security of a state does not necessarily come from the military. The true security of the state comes from the quality of life of the people.”

If you prefer peace than war, here are some resource sites:

World Peace Festival 

Ploughshares.org promotes investment to reduce nuclear weapons manufacture.

Global Peace initiative of women  

Global Peace Inititiatives – a brain based approach

The centre for African Affairs and Global Peace

…..and what about Peace Education? If there are any skills needed for the future they must be conflict management skills and communication skills as well as  cooperative learning opportunities.

UN Peace Education

Teachers without borders

PEN Peace Education Network  Education for Peace

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 linkhttps://shiftnetwork.infusionsoft.com/go/pwk2PTP/pax 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 Worldhttp://we.net/11daysin cooperation with the United Religions Initiativewww.uri.orgas well as the World Peace Prayer Societywww.worldpeace.organd Pathways To Peacewww.pathwaystopeace.org.

There are already hundreds of events listed on the websites
www.internationaldayofpeace.org  and www.cultureofpeace.org, 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:  http://internationaldayofpeace.org/participate/peace_day_supporters

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 www.un.org/webcast.

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 organization.www.facebook.com/peaceday

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.https://www.facebook.com/groups/140189526027805/?view=permalink&id=236563086390448#!/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 http://www.peaceday.tv/ 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 http://www.livestream.com/peacedaytv/share. The “Peace Day” 2011 Global Broadcast is produced by Unity Foundation http://www.unityfoundation.org/and All Things Peace http://www.allthingspeace.org/peaceday.html

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. . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSr2gBsg9dI

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 athttp://action.nonviolentpeaceforce.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7914

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.http://www.amnesty.org/

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

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’.www.pinwheelsforpeace.org

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’.http://nkn.cercledepaix.ca/visits/promo_visit/2313 Many of their events are listed on this facebook linkhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Pacifest-2011/256574041043003

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. 23rd.www.unoy.org

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 / service.www.uri.org

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 Pole.www.worldpeace.organdwww.peacepoleproject.org

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.http://www.globalwalk.cc

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.http://www.rootsandshoots.org/

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.netandhttp://www.peoplebuildingpeace.org/

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 athttps://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=170526556349255 Here’s the promo video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk1JfPNAQYU

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. <http://peace-intl.org>

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.http://www.globalpeacelight.org/peace-service-center.html

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.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Q4m8C4z5Q&feature=youtu.be

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 Gilley.www.peaceoneday.org

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.http://www.peacebeginswithme.eu

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.”http://www.una-gp.org/peacedayphilly2011.htm

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.http://www.peacedayparade.org/

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.http://www.peacefilmfest.org/

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 proportion.www.upf.org/international-day-of-peace-2011

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 Peacewww.rotary.org Here’s an example from Winnipeg, Canada.http://www.rotarywppd5550.org/index.php/blog

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:http://www.wppspeacepals.org/idp

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 Africa.www.peacexpeace.org 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  www.internationaldayofpeace.organdwww.cultureofpeace.org,

Youth – time for action? International Youth Day – Friday 12th August 2011.

The events in the UK during the last week has not only disgusted many in Britain, but with the worldwide spread of connected media -the whole world holds up young people in Britain as figures of shame.

We all know it was a ‘handful’ of young disaffected youth that were to blame, yet the media seems only interested in a sensational and negative view of young people. Not many newspapers get sold when the main headline is ‘Boy scout helps old lady to cross the road!’.

Well , there is plenty of good news to do with young people and the  recent INEE newsletter spells out what has been going on during the UN International Year of Youth.

International Youth Day, this Friday, August 12, marks the culmination of the UN International Year of Youth. The focus of the International Year was to advance the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society, and was kicked off by 27 Heads of UN Entities reaffirming the World Programme of Action for Youth.

The World Programme of Action for Youth, which was initially developed in 1985 during the first International Year of Youth, provides a policy framework and practical guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people. While progress has certainly been made in some of the areas outlined in the Programme, much remains to be done, particularly for youth affected by crisis.

All sectors of society are encouraged to work in partnership with youth and youth organisations to better understand their needs and concerns, and to recognise the significant contributions that they can and do make to society. With this in mind we have seen a strong momentum building in the area of inter-agency coordination on youth and within the INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team.

UPDATES: Inter-Agency Coordination on Youth

Recent international events – including the November 2010 INEE Policy Roundtable on education for youth affected by crisis and a January inter-agency symposium on engaging youth in conflict affected areas – have built momentum for increasing collaboration among relief and development organizations to ensure coherent, responsible and relevant programming for youth in disaster- and conflict-affected situations.

In response, INEE undertook a mapping exercise in March and April on behalf of itself and colleagues such as the Center for Peace Building International, the International Rescue Committee, Search for Common Ground and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Findings indicated that increased collaboration could produce many benefits including: enhanced commitment (particularly at higher political and organizational levels); increased funding for and better financing of youth programs; more coordination and less duplication; incorporating youth issues more substantively in the humanitarian and development architecture, such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s cluster system; more effective programming; and institutionalized mechanisms for engaging youth.

To further these ends, many of the agencies involved in the mapping have since come together to form the core of a new informal youth coordination group that others have joined as well. The group has developed an action plan with activities to undertake together and approximately 30 individuals representing around 20 agencies – such as INEE, Open Society Foundation, Plan, Search for Common Ground, UNFPA, Women’s Refugee Commission – have agreed to participate. If you’d like to get involved with the work of the informal youth coordination group, please contact L. Randolph Carter from the Center for Peace Building International at lrandolphcarter@gmail.com.

As its first activity, the group organized a side event to the UN High Level Meeting on Youth on 25 July. Panelists from the side event discussed the need for cross-sectoral engagement and interagency collaboration and the need for a champion of youth issues as a way to begin discussions at higher policy levels.

SURVEY: Inter-agency Survey on Youth

As its next activity, the informal youth coordination group is organizing an inter-agency survey process to engage young people in emergencies, post-conflict, and post-disaster situations for the purpose of informing collective humanitarian action. The group hopes to reach 30,000 young people through the survey.

If you would like to get involved with the development and implementation of the survey, please contact L. Randolph Carter at lrandolphcarter@gmail.com.


UPDATES: INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team

The INEE Adolescents and Youth Task Team has capitalized on the recent momentum around youth issues. It has reorganized with new conveners and has new activities underway.

AYTT co-convenership:Alongside continuing co-convener Nicolas Servas from Refugee Education Trust (RET), INEE would like to welcome Josh Chaffin (Women’s Refugee Commission), Anna Seeger (GIZ) and Kerstin Tebbe (INEE) as new AYTT co-conveners. INEE would like to thank the previous conveners – Jenny Perlman Robinson, Naseem Awl and Marian Hodgkin – for their contributions and commitment.

AYTT Action Plan: The AYTT has also created a new action plan and updated tasks for the next 12 months. Based on recommendations put forth from the Policy Roundtable in November 2010, there are four broad categories for action:

  1. advocacy and the building the evidence base to make the case for education for youth;
  2. knowledge management and technical capacity to equip all actors;
  3. resources for all to increase funding for post-primary education;
  4. and inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination to work together to holistically meet the needs of youth affected by crisis.

AYTT Advocacy Brief: The AYTT advocacy brief on ‘Education for Youth Affected by Crisis: Trends, Challenges and Ways Forward’ is available here.

AYTT webpage: The AYTT webpage on the INEE website has also undergone some changes to reflect the new leadership and momentum of the group. Please view the website here for more information on the past, current and future activities of the group.

If you are interested in getting involved with the work of the AYTT, please contacttaskteams@ineesite.org.

From the website on the International Year of Youth:

Welcome to the International Year of Youth (IYY)

“Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

 On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolutionA/RES/64/134 proclaiming the year commencing on 12 August 2010 as the International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding. The Year will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Year in 1985 on the theme Participation, Development and Peace. The resolution A/RES/64/134 is available in all United Nations Official Languages: English | Français | Español | Русский | عربي | 汉语

If you are holding an event in celebration of the International Year of Youth (IYY) and would like to register it on our calendar of events, please visit this link:  http://social.un.org/iyyevents.

The Brochure of the Year provides an overview of the importance of the International Year for young people. Everyone is invited to promote the ideals of peace, freedom, progress and solidarity towards the promotion of youth development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Brochure is available in all official UN languages under Links and Resources on top of this page.

 Join the Change Your World campaign for IYY and International Youth Day on 12 August 2011

 International Year of Youth: Culmination Celebration, 11 August 2011

 High Level Meeting on Youth, UN General Assembly Hall, New York, 25-26 July 2011
Photos |  Video of the meeting

 Private Sector Kit to Working With Youth (PDF)

 Check out the webpage of our UN Youth Champion Monique Coleman and her World Tour Diaries

 International Year of Youth Briefing Sessions

 United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development

 Global Launch of the International Year of Youth, 12 August 2010

Further information about International Youth Day includes this article from  the Ecoleader’s Blog

“Good Night Earth” (free eBook) – Celebrating International Youth Day

Posted on August 12, 2011 by 

(Source: United Nations)

Since the current generation of Planet Earth’s leaders and consumers got us to where we are today, the poem reminds us of simpler times to appreciate Mother Nature each day and night. By appreciating and enjoying Nature with our youth, we can work together  to preserve the circle of life which sustains us.

As our youth mature to adulthood, we can pave the road for the young trailblazers to help us solve some of the world’s toughest energy and environmental issues. They will be able to learn from our mistakes and join us to be part of a solution for a greener future: to change our world.

As UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon states, “ ‘Change Our World’ is more than the theme for this year’s International Youth Day; it is an injunction that should inspire young people at all times…. Young people are gifted with open minds and a keen awareness of emerging trends, and are bringing their energy, ideas and courage to some of the most complex and important challenges facing the human family….And they are often the leading proponents of sustainability and green lifestyles.”

In summary, Ban Ki-moon declares: “To them I say: you have the opportunity to change our world. Seize it.”

Note: if you sign up to this blog   , you can receive a free copy of the eBook “Good Night Earth” (a children’s poem), to celebrate United Nations International Youth Day.

Some useful fact sheets for those involved with young people

Fact Sheets