~Happy International Day of Peace~

Today is a global cease-fire day. Since 2001, every September 21st is declared an International Day of Peace- a day of peace_one_day.jpgcease-fire and non-violence by the UN. The unanimous declaration from the UN General Assembly was brought about by the non-profit organization, Peace One Day.

What is the point of a day of peace, and can it even be realized? The video at the end of the post responds to these questions. Plus, if Valentine’s Day can be the monstrosity it’s become, then surely a day of peace is less trivial.

… to have a UN resolution calling for a day of non-violence and to have an actual day where no violence occurs are two radically different things. And when the initial celebrations of Peace Day came and went without any cease-fires or other official humanitarian action, Jeremy’s [founder of Peace One Day] elation began to wane and he grew concerned that the UN resolution might prove itself a Pyrrhic victory. “I could hear the cynics getting louder,” said Jeremy. “Peace Day will never work,’ they said. Nobody will ever stop fighting.'” [POD]

Jeremy Gilley, the founder of Peace One Day encountered much cynicism when the first Day of Peace marked no cease-fires, but also found encouragement while filming his next documentary, “The Day After Peace,” (the entirety of which is on YouTube, though I haven’t seen it and can’t comment on it).

During one filmed interview, Mary Robinson, who during her tenure as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002, told Jeremy that, “In my own experience, those who are involved in [conflict], long for even a day of peace. That’s what they say to me. If this would only stop for a day.’ It has the practical impact of allowing relief from the pressure and tension of not knowing from where that next bomb or bullet may come. That, to me, is an idea whose time has come.” [POD]

Organizations have begun to organize life-saving activities to mark the day, and such small steps are what lead to larger achievements.

In 2007, Star Syringe, manufacturers of the K1 non-reusable, auto-disabling syringe, provided safe immunisation camps in 20 locations, doubling the number of camps that they had organised on Peace Day in 2006. Through these efforts, thousands of children in countries such as India, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and Uganda were vaccinated against measles, diphtheria, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and whopping cough.

Another 600,000 children benefited from life-saving efforts in the DR Congo, where UNICEF – together with the support of other UN agencies, governments, and other non-governmental organisations – led campaigns for immunisation, de-worming, and mosquito net distribution.

The biggest story from that year, however, took place in Afghanistan. Jeremy visited the country with Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law, leading to Peace Day agreements by the Afghan government, NATO, and the Taliban. These agreements in recognition of Peace Day allowed the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, and the Ministry of Public Health to enter areas of the country that were otherwise inaccessible and to provide 1.4 million children with the monovalent P3 polio vaccine. [POD]

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(edited 9/21/09)


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8 Responses to “~Happy International Day of Peace~”

  1. harinder says:

    One voice of sanity amongst 6.785 billion of us.

    It is like a wave in a Ocean or a rustle of a leaf in a jungle.

  2. harinder says:

    One voice of sanity amongst 6.785 billion of us.
    It is like a wave in a Ocean or a rustle of a leaf in a jungle.

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  4. […] ~Happy International Day of Peace~ | The Langar Hall Blogged with the Flock Browser […]

  5. site says:

    100 million people become a part of peace day every year on September 21. In that day, everyone joins hands and did lots of celebrations and contribute to save the life of persons without knowing about their race. We should tell others to become a part of this day too.

  6. Jackelyn says:

    cheers for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, could you mind updating your blog with more information? as it is extremely useful for me.

  7. Blanca Costa says:

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  8. ashish says:

    Greetings from the world.
    Let there be peace.