International Day of Peace, September 21, 2011

International Day of Peace, September 21, 2011

This is the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace. It is sponsored by the United Nations. This first article is from their official web site. The second article is from another supportive organization. As I read about this event I was struck by the sheer number of people and organizations that are participating in this global celebration of Peace. Please note the many links to multiple activities that are going on in support of this event.

It is so very important that we believe and intend that Peace is indeed possible. Because it truly is.

Clay Uptain


Peace and Democracy: Make your voice heard!

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.

This year – on its 30th anniversary – the Day’s theme is “Peace and Democracy: make your voice heard”.

The Preamble to the United Nations Charter states that the Organization was founded to prevent and resolve international conflicts and help build a culture of peace in the world.

Peace and democracy are inextricably linked. Together, they form a partnership that promotes the well-being of all. Embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, democracy supports an environment for a host of political rights and civil liberties.

In line with the Day’s theme, something profoundly remarkable is happening in the world. Young women and men everywhere are demonstrating the power of solidarity by reaching out and rallying together for the common goal of dignity and human rights. This powerful force brings with it the potential to create a peaceful and democratic future. Add your voice!

There are many ways to participate in democratic practices, including taking part in dialogue on constitutional processes, advocating for civil society empowerment, joining the struggle for gender equality and against discrimination, engaging in civic education and promoting voter registration.

The International Day of Peace offers people globally, a shared date to organize events and undertake deeds celebrating the importance of peace and democracy in realistic and useful ways.

UN Web Services Section, Department of Public Information, United Nations © 2011


Culture of Peace Initiative – September 2011

Dear Culture of Peace Initiative Participants and Supporters,With just days until this year’s global observance of the International Day of Peace, we remind everyone of its 3 guiding principles and actions. Peace within – the Minute of Silence at noon in each time zone; Peace without – an Act of Service for Peace that benefits the larger community; and Peace year round – a commitment to a Daily Peace Practice by joining with others to build a worldwide Culture of Peace.

There is lots of news to share. Most items will be brief with links for more information. It is worth noting that many ‘events’ this year will last for several days.

President Barack Obama, the most recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is scheduled to address the United Nations’ General Assembly this year on September 21st, the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Peace. Many heads of state will also be addressing the General Assembly on this day; and it is expected that Laura Chinchilla Miranda, the President of Costa Rica, will be speaking about the International Day of Peace. Costa Rica not only officially recognizes this occasion, but was also the country to introduce the original resolution creating this day, in 1981. With this in mind, we remind everyone that the first four words of the UN charter are: “To maintain international peace…” We look forward to this year’s addresses and observances.

Peace Week 2011,was inspired by Pathways To Peace and is a special program of the Culture of Peace Initiative; it occurs from September 15- 21. You are invited to celebrate Peace Week with inspiring Peace builders 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 completely free! This virtual peace week will offer profound insights that will help create Peace in one’s 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 link Join with participants of the Culture of Peace Initiative and 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 Campaign features 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 World cooperation with the United Religions Initiative as well as the World Peace Prayer Society and

Pathways To Peace

There are already hundreds of events listed on our websites and, 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. PLEASE POST YOUR EVENTS THERE. 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 our website; some even have their own events listings:

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

Our Facebook Page contains 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

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 we 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 this Peace Wave, as it travels around – and envelopes – the world; and please help by inviting friends through this link.!/event.php?eid=184359108294303

The Peace Day 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 the UN 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  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 The “Peace Day” 2011 Global Broadcast is produced by Unity Foundation and All Things Peace

Our promotional video for the International Day of Peace has 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. Please and thank you.

The Nonviolent Peace Force is 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 at

Amnesty International is 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.

The Peace Corp is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; and some affiliates are conducting membership drives in conjunction with the International Day of Peace.

Pinwheels for Peace will 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’

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.’ Many of their events are listed on this facebook link

The United Network of Youth Peace builders is 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.

Did you know that over the years groups as diverse as The African Union, The Arab League, NATO, the Taliban, and the Catholic Church have observed or recognized the International Day of Peace?

The United Religions Initiative has 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 prayer and action /

The World Peace Prayer Society is 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 their Peace Pole Project over 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.  and

Danny Garcia of Global Walk International is 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.

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.

The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict focuses on the role of civil society in creating peace. Based in The Hague, Netherlands, it is an umbrella group for over 1,000 peace building organizations worldwide. It’s People Building Peace program encourages annual observances of the International Day of Peace worldwide. and

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 Peace event 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 at Here’s the promo video:

The Peace International Foundation will 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. <>

The Peace Service Center in Nepal has 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 children’s’ 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.

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.

The Peace One Day Celebration on Sept. 21st at the O2 Arena in London will launch the 365-day countdown to a Global 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.

Instruments of Peace is 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.

Peace Day Philly 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.”

The 5th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festival in Honokaa has become a symbol of the fact that the state of Hawaii officially recognizes the International Day of Peace.

The World Peace Film Festival Sept 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.

The Universal Peace Federation lists 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

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  Here’s an example from Winnipeg, Canada:

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 the Culture of Peace Initiative and Peace Pals International. To organize your International Day of Peace – Peace Pals Art Exhibition go to:

Peace X Peace lifts and multiplies women’s voices, strengthens women’s capacity to connect across divides and promotes leadership and gender equality through their global network of peace builders in 120 countries. One example is their fundraising to donate wireless computers to women in villages throughout Africa. Here is their recent newsletter dedicated to the International Day of Peace. PeaceTimes Edition 115: Collaborating for Peace | Peace X Peace

There is an expression in Africa: “Peace Begins with Breakfast.” We dedicate this issue to the millions facing basic survival there – and elsewhere. For many people peace begins with food & water, shelter, clothing and health care. For some people, peace begins with the end of torture, slavery, and other forms of oppression. For some people peace begins with the freedom of speech, education, a job or a creative outlet. For some people peace begins with trust and values, family safety, neighborhood and government cooperation, or a clean environment. For all people peace comprises our hopes and dreams and aspirations.

In closing we present the song “Let There Be Peace On Earth and Let It Begin With Me”, recorded by Vince Gill and accompanied by captivating images and inspirational quotes from Peace builders throughout the ages.

May Peace Prevail On Earth

This newsletter is offered by Pathways To Peace, International Secretariat of theCulture of Peace Initiative, and a UN Peace Messenger organization. Pathways To Peace has been involved with the International Day of Peace since its inception in 1981 and has nurtured this occasion from a single event of a few hundred people into an annual global observance that is inter-cultural and inter-generational in nature, and that reaches hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Pathways To Peace has created and maintained the dedicated websites for the International Day of Peace and the Culture of Peace Initiative; we produce and distribute this newsletter; we held a successful campaign to have the International Day of Peace listed on most calendars across the globe; we are continually involved with communications and planning about this annual event both inside and beyond UN circles. To learn more about our programs, networks, campaigns and support materials please see our websites.


Happy Autumnal Equinox and May Peace Prevail on Earth

Clay Uptain

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