The International Day of Peace, a.k.a. “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.”
Earlier this year, world leaders, together with civil society, local authorities and the private sector, met 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. 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.
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“.
Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.
This year, 2012, the International Day of Peace is on a Friday, special activities and celebrations will take place all across the world over the 2012 Peace Day Weekend, including festivals, concerts, a global Peace Wave with moments of silence at noon in every time zone, and much more. We encourage you to attend local events (find them here), put on an event of your own, take a moment of peace at noon, and check in on the global broadcast to view the worldwide activities. You can watch the global broadcast on this website by clicking here.
To find 2012 International Day of Peace Events please view our Global Peace Events Map by clicking here.
For Peace One Day’s events, click here.
For MasterPeace’s events, click here.