Friday, September 21, 2012

International Peace Day - 2012

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly declared, in a resolution sponsored by Costa Rica, the third Tuesday of September (the opening day of regular sessions of the General Assembly) as the International Day of Peace devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace.

In 2001 a new resolution was passed by the General Assembly, sponsored by the United Kingdom (giving credit to Peace One Day) and Costa Rica (the sponsors of the original day) to give the Day of Peace a fixed date and declare it as a global ceasefire day.

Today is set aside as the International Day of Peace which occurs annually on September 21. It is dedicated to peace, or specifically the absence of war, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone. It is observed by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples.

To inaugurate the day, the "Peace Bell" is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents. It was given as a gift by the Diet of Japan, and is referred to as "a reminder of the human cost of war." The inscription on its side reads: "Long live absolute world peace."

Each year individuals and organizations from 175 nations gather to promote peace in their communities and the world. At this very moment, UN peacekeepers around the world are risking their lives in the name of peace.

I send grateful thanks to a good friend of mine, Elvis Chinchilla Hernández , from El Salvador, who spent 18 months in Liberia as a peacekeeper.

These men and women in blue helmets – more than 100,000 in total, making them the second largest deployed military in the world – can be found in 16 of the world's most dangerous conflict areas. They are stationed in such hot spots as Lebanon, Haiti and Sudan, and are fighting to preserve and ensure peace.

Sometimes that means disrupting drug trafficking and maintaining law and order. Sometimes it means disarming former combatants and disposing of mines. And sometimes it means organizing elections or helping countries develop legal frameworks to ensure continued justice. In any case, this work is critical to American national security interests, yet it often goes under appreciated in this country and elsewhere.

September 21st is the date generally associated with the Autumnal Equinox – a time of great astronomical and spiritual significance for a great many people.

The United Nations General Assembly re-opens on or around this date every year. In this sense, it is a very symbolic time globally. The following statements are excerpts from
‘100 reasons to ban nuclear weapons’ :

because nuclear weapons threaten humankind. Let's get rid of them for good -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

because as UN Secretary-General, I believe there would be no winners in a nuclear war
because nuclear weapons do not discriminate -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

because it will make the world safer for our children and grandchildren -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

because the resources it will free up could fight climate change -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

because the resources it will free up could fight global food insecurity -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

because the world will be more secure and stable without nuclear weapons.

because disarmament and non-proliferation are inextricably linked to development, human rights and peace.

because the resources it will free up could fight global poverty -
UN Secretary-

because we are serious about the future of humankind

because while nuclear weapons exist, accidents can happen

because 6.8 billion people are at risk

because any feud between countries could be a death warrant for the planet -
Michael Douglas, UN Messenger of Peace

because billions are spent on a tool of self-destruction while many die of hunger
(sent from Poland)

because killing people by any means is simply wrong; why on earth do we accept the idea of total destruction?
(sent from Canada)

because love, empathy, collaboration, understanding, generosity, unity, forgiveness, goodwill, kindness, caring, reason, and compassion are answers, not weapons of mass destruction
(sent from the USA)

because peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding -
Albert Einstein
because the future of our world depends on sustainable development for the preservation of lives and families, not building nuclear weapons
(sent from Nigeria)

go to the united nations website for more information about the efforts toward world peace.

International Peace Day - 2012


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