I still have CND badges collected as a child of the 70s, I still remember watching blue flags with white doves flying in Manchester on peace day in the mid 80s. Peace was always a topic of discussion in my family growing up. I’ve also never forgotten the assembly my old headmaster did for peace day, on chaos theory and the butterfly effect, but more on that in a moment.
September 21st is International Day of Peace and, as the world finally comes to terms with the biggest refugee crisis since the second world war, it seems like excellent timing to reflect on what a world at peace could look like.
One day makes a big difference
Peace Day has shown what a difference a day can make. The UN reported a 70% reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan on Peace Day, and 10,000 health workers were able to vaccinate millions of children against Polio due to the ceasefire.
Since 2013 the UN has put a focus onto education, the sustainable way to bring about peace is to educate future generations.
International Day of Peace
The theme of this year’s peace day is co-operation, different groups in society working together for peace:
Every year on the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls on the people of the world to reaffirm their commitment to living in harmony as members of a single human family…
This year’s commemoration, “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All”, highlights the importance of cooperation in silencing the guns and advancing the cause. Without the support of governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and non-governmental organizations, peace will remain elusive…
Let us stand with the millions of people across the world who are suffering the devastating impact of violence and conflict. Let us share ideas and plans for helping and supporting them in their time of dire need…
Together, as “partners for peace”, we can achieve a world of peace, prosperity and dignity for all.
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
How can I help create peace?
Awareness of the day makes a huge difference, so here are five simple, but effective things you can do this peace day.
1. Take time to think or talk to others about peace and why it is important. If you have children it is a golden opportunity to talk to them about the idea of peace and to ask them how it might be achieved.
2.Share the news about peace day.
Awareness of peace day creates action, and that action saves lives
Jude Law – Peace One Day Ambassador
3. Find out more about what you can do to help those suffering the impact of violence and conflict.
4. Make peace with someone or something, peace is about fostering co-operation. Think about it like the butterfly effect. A small change in one small place, can have a much bigger impact in another bigger place.
5. Join the peace thunderclap, make some noise on social media #peaceday
More information via the UN and Peace One Day