August 24, 2012, 3:33 PM
The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace – “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” – is in keeping with the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The theme acknowledges the root of many conflicts in the struggle for natural resources, and the central role of good resource management in building a sustainable peace.
The annual holiday of peace will begin with the ringing of the “Peace Bell” – a gift of the United Nations Association of Japan – at United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
The International Day of Peace was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in November of 1981 and first observed on Sept. 21, 1982. Formerly celebrated on the third Tuesday of September, the holiday shifted to Sept. 21 in 2002, and has since been recognized annually as a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence.
Each year, the International Day of Peace provides a shared opportunity for every citizen of the world to think about peace, and how each individual can contribute to making world peace a reality. Every person on earth is invited to take part in the event by observing one minute of silence at noon – in every time zone – on Sept. 21, 2012.
This year, the Web site Push4Peace.org hopes to convince one billion people to answer the question “What Will You Do For Peace?” In association with the International Day of Peace, Push4Peace is encouraging participants to commit to one act of peace between Sept. 21 and Dec. 21, 2012, and to describe their actions in a comment on the site.
In addition, many URI Cooperation Circles and regional organizations are planning local Peace Day celebrations. In India’s South Zone, for example, URI Sub-Regional Coordinator Abraham Karickam reports that members will be hosting a peace procession and love feast and taking part in sramadan, or voluntary work, to commemorate the event. In the United States, the Unity and Diversity World Council CC will celebrate a PeaceFest/Peace Sunday in Los Angeles, California.
More information about URI’s celebration of the International Day of Peace is available here. For further information on celebrations of the International Day of Peace in your area, visit the United Nations Department of Public Information.