International Day of Peace 2014 – Right of Peoples to Peace

International Day of Peace and the People’s Climate March both occur on Sunday, September 21, 2014. Peace and climate change action are connected.

Dove Holding an Olive Branch Peace SymbolWe all need to pull together to work towards a sustainable existence on earth. It is hard to imagine us being able to accomplish this with all the violence, terrorism, and war going on around the world. People struggling to stay alive are concerned with today, not what may happen next month, next year, or in the next century. No one should have to live in fear of his or her life. We need peace on earth.

Will one day of peace or one march put us on a new path? Maybe or maybe not, but it is a start, and there is no downside to a day without violence or participating in a peaceable event.

A previous post covered the People’s Climate March so this one will explore International Day of Peace.

International Day of Peace Established – 1981

International Flags Flying in Front of United Nations in New York CityThe United Nations established the International Day of Peace in 1981 during its 36th General Assembly session. Originally, International Day of Peace was observed on the third Tuesday of September to coincide with the annual opening day of the United Nations General Assembly.

“…since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed, that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of Governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind…” —excerpt from U.N. Resolution 36/37

Declaration of The Right of Peoples to Peace – 1984

This year’s International Day of Peace theme “The Right of Peoples to Peace” marks the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of the Right of Peoples to Peace adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1984.

“…life without war serves as the primary international prerequisite for the material well-being, development and progress of countries, and for the full implementation of the rights and fundamental human freedoms proclaimed by the United Nations.” —excerpt from U.N. Declaration of the Right of Peoples to Peace

September 21st becomes International Day of Peace – 2001

In 2001, the United Nations approved Resolution 55/282, fixing September 21 as the date for observing International Day of Peace and declaring it a global day of ceasefire and non-violence.

Apparently, the United Nations did not come up with this idea of their own volition. In his 2011 One Day of Peace Ted Talk, Jeremy Gilley, filmmaker and founder of Peace One Day, passionately talks about his quest for a specific day of peace, ceasefire and non-violence.

Watch the 6-minute film below, Introduction to Peace One Day 2014, for a short version of the story and to learn about how the International Day of Peace movement is growing. It is inspiring.

International Day of Peace – 2014

“The Right of Peoples to Peace”

U.N Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon’s International Day of Peace 2014 message asks combatants to lay down their arms, at least for the day, and for everyone to observe a minute of silence at noon.

“Today is the International Day of Peace.
Each year, on this day, the United Nations calls for a global ceasefire.
We ask combatants to put down their arms so all can breathe the air of peace.
Armed conflict causes untold grief to families, communities, and entire countries.
Too many are suffering today at the brutal hands of warmongers and terrorists.
Let us stand with them in solidarity.
Peace and security are essential foundations for social progress and sustainable development.
International Day of Peace 2014 Poster - United NationsThat is why, three decades ago, the United Nations affirmed the right of peoples to peace.
Throughout the coming year, we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
Our organisation is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
We have made much progress.
But much remains to be done.
We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict.
Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today.
Let us all observe a minute of silence, at noon.
Let us all reflect on peace – and what it means for our human family.
Let us hold it in our hearts and minds and tenderly nurture it so it may grow and blossom.”

International Day of Peace and Climate Change

Hands Forming a Circle over Sand - CollaborationWe often seem to concentrate on what divides us (assisted by the media). This will not bring peace or create a sustainable civilization. Sure, humans vary, yet people with diverse backgrounds and dissimilar opinions can and do get along and collaborate every day at work, at home, and in communities around the world.

Sunday, September 21, 2014, International Day of Peace is an ideal time to focus on our common humanity.

“We may have all come in different ships, but we are all in the same boat now.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Author: Linda Poppenheimer

Linda researches and writes about environmental topics to share information, spark conversation, and convince people to take action to keep earth habitable for all. She believes our individual actions do matter—it all adds up.

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