URI and the UN's International Day of Peace - 2013

20 November 2013

This year, the range of URI activities celebrating International Day of Peace was as diverse as the communities — spread throughout 12 different countries — that make up URI itself.

Here are a few of the great activities some of our CCs planned:


New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation (West-Africa): “UN International Day of Peace-2013”
Location: Creative Minds Academy and CRUDAN Guest House, Jos, Nigeria

URI West Africa, in collaboration with New Era Educational & Charitable Support Foundation, will co-host a Special Summit for Educators and Students at Creative Minds International Academy on September 20-21, 2013, in celebration of the 2013 UN Peace Day theme, "Education for Peace.” Two hundred and fifty participants are expected to attend including: students and teachers from colleges in Jos; local religious and community leaders; as well as national dignitaries, including the Nigerian Special Adviser to the State Governor on Peacebuilding and the Director of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality.



PeaceBeats (North America/Multi-Regional): “PeaceBeats WorldWide Webcast”
Location: Online - Multiregionally

PeaceBeats Global Team has organized a special webcast, which will take place on September 21, 2013 at 9:22 PM. The webcast expects to attract 30,000 listeners worldwide in honor of the International Day of Peace.

Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia: “The Peace – Charlottesville”
Location: Lee Park, Charlottesville, Virginia

On September 21, 2013 at 3:00 PM, the Interfaith Cooperation Circle of Central Virginia, in collaboration with Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, will co-host a hundred participants in an afternoon celebration of the UN International Day of Peace. The festivities will consist of thirty minutes of silent meditation, followed by thirty minutes of Dances of Universal Peace, concluding with a potluck dinner and songfest.



Manbazar Chandra Memorial and EKTAAN: “Blood Donation Camp"

URI CC India Manbazar Chandra Memorial, with the support of the Ektaan CC URI India Eastern Zone, were able to collect 80 bottles of blood with the support of District Government Blood Bank.to cope up with tremendous shortfall of blood supply at District hospital in Purulia district.
It was very inspiring to see a large turnout of women to donate blood. District health officials and local personnel, medical doctors, and URI delegates were present to inspire the members of CMC CC.  People from various traditions came forward to contribute to support this greater cause. Nearly 500 people participated in this event.

Interfaith Mediation Centre: “UN International Peace Day: Peace Education for the Establishment of Peace Clubs and Community Peace Observers”
Location: Kaduna State, Nigeria 

Throughout the months of September and October 2013, the Interfaith Mediation Centre of Kaduna State, Nigeria, one of URI’s newest CC’s, will host a conference on the Institutionalization of Peace Education in order to promote a culture of peace in our schools; a Peace Round-about to State House of Assembly commencing in a Peace match and passing bills; and the Formation of peace clubs, community peace observers. The purpose of these initiatives is to: advocate for domestication of peace education in all government and private schools in Kaduna State; to create awareness of the United Nation (UN) efforts in promoting universal, peaceful coexistence and the new UN Online Platform for Youth; to inculcate children with the virtues of peace, tolerance and respect for others; and to encourage students, teachers, individuals, groups and communities of the importance of peace building and promoting culture of peace.

URI Asia Region: “Peace Procession”

URI Asia will celebrate the International Day of Peace, during the Onam Holidays (a local harvest festival), in conjunction with the UN International Day of Non-Violence, and the 5th International Conference on Holy Books on September 21 with a Peace Procession. One hundred participants are expected to take part in the Peace Procession, including delegates from the Conference on Holy Books.



URI at the United Nations: “Monica Willard and Debra Moldow, Guest Speakers on Our Sacred Journey, VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel”
Location: Monday September 16, 2013 at 3 PM Pacific Time 6 PM Eastern Time, VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel, Listen Live


On Monday, September 16, 2013, VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel’s Programme, Our Sacred Journey will feature Deborah Moldow and Monica Willard, URI at the United Nations CC members, discussing the significance of the UN International Day of Peace. Monica Willard and Deborah Moldow have devoted many years to highlighting this day of peace with the United Nations Department of Public Information, UN affiliated nongovernmental organizations, students, and a broad constituency in order to grow this day of peace in the hearts and minds of all global citizens.

The Compassion Action Network International: “Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest”

Location: Online (North America) 

Many URI North America CC's have joined together in order to "play" in the spirit of co-opetition (competing to cooperate) during the dates of 9/11 and closing on 9/21 in honor of the UN International Day of Peace. In these 11 Days of Global Unity they are coming together on a global scale to serve the underserved, practice intentional and intense acts of compassion both for our communities and ourselves. There are as many ways to Play as there are ways to be compassionate. On 9/21 we urge you to submit your compassionate action, walks and observances on the Compassion Map and share with the world what you and your community are doing.

Charlotte Cooperation Circle: “Celebrating the UN International Day of Peace”
Location: Charlotte, NC, U.S.A. 

The Charlotte Cooperation Circle will celebrate the UN International Day of Peace at The Neighborhood Theater with great enthusiasm. They are expecting anywhere from 500 – 900 folks to show up. Rotary, Charlotte International Cabinet, Mecklenburg Ministries, International House, World Affairs, and more will be hawking their wares at this event.



Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk CC: “Footprints Around the World 4 Peace
Location: Williamsport, PA

Williamsport community members and Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk leaders, including Audri Scott Williams and Karen Hunter Watson, met at the Dr. Usui Peace Tower, downtown Williamsport, and walked one mile for peace. Audri led a statement about the intention and vision of peace that we share in solidarity with countless groups all over the world. Pennsylvania Representative Mirabito introduced a resolution for the IDP in the State legislature.


URI Latin America: “Encuentro en Buenos Aires: Global March for the UN International Day of Peace”
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

On September 21, 2013 URI Latin America, in conjunction with Mil Milenios de Paz, Humanity Team, Bridge Builders, and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires will hold a Global March for Unity and Peace in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Participants will gather, take part in a silent moment for peace joining the World Peace Prayer Society, ring March to a local Christian Parrish, a Jewish Synagogue, a Chinese Buddhist Temple. In the weeks following the march, participants will be visiting five schools in order to involve students of different ages in Peace Education.



Youth Society for Peace Nepal: “Conference for the International Day of Peace” 
Location:  Koteshwor, Kathmandu

It was a very wonderful day on 21st September working from 6 AM in the morning till 5 PM in the evening. Early morning coordinating with other organization helped in Bagmati (a pious river) Cleaning Campaign with 55 students of Hindu Vidyapeeth School and Shanti Sewa Ashram. From 10: 30 AM till 5: 30 PM we organized a day conference to mark International Day of Peace mainly inviting 100 students from various orphanages and school at Shanti Sewa Ashram, Koteshwor, Kathmandu.


Interfaith Council at Stapleton: "The Many Faces of Creation: Myths and Theories"
Location: University Park UMC, Denver, CO, U.S.A.

URI North America CC, the Interfaith Council at Stapleton, will co-host, "The Many Faces of Creation: Myths and Theories" with the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado on September 21, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. Five community leaders will share the face of creation as embodied in their faiths: Professor Russ Arnold (Jewish Studies, Regis University); Dr. Linda Lucero (Seneca Nation of Indians); Dilpreet Singh (Sikh); and Rev. Dr. John Denker (Science, Kabbalah and Spirituality). Presentations will be followed by audience break out discussions.

Interfaith Community Sanctuary: “Art Exhibit for Middle East Peace”
Location: Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

In honor of the UN International Day of Peace, the Interfaith Community Sanctuary will transform their sanctuary into a “Sonic Peace Temple” from noon until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The Sanctuary will be filled with ongoing magical and mystical vibrations from a variety of instruments shared by musicians, creating an immersive sound environment. The Sanctuary will also begin display of the traveling art exhibit of Anne Shams’ "Al-Andalusia: Pardes/Paradise.


group photo

Interfaith Center at the Presidio: "Sounds of Peace: An Interfaith Concert Celebrating the International Day of Peace in Support of TB2H"
Location: San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.

URI, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and Pacific Union will co-host Sounds of Peace: An Interfaith Concert, featuring performances inspired by faith traditions such as Islam, Brahma Kumaris, Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism. The concert will take place on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at the Golden Gate Club and is co-sponsored by the Marin Interfaith Council, the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, San Francisco Interfaith Council and the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council.

URI at the UN & Global Family for Love and Peace CC: “Sounds of Peace: A Sunset Celebration for the UN International Peace Day”
Location: United Nations Church Center Chapel, NY, New York, U.S.A.  

On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. the UN will host “Sounds of Peace: A Sunset Celebration in honor of the International Day of Peace.” The event will include Sacred Sounds of Religious and Spiritual Traditions, ending with the universal sound of silence.  

URI's new Executive Director, Victor Kazanjian, will be in attendance along with URI UN Representative Swamini Sri Lalitambika Devi and Laurence Singer from Global Family for Love and Peace CC.  There will be a UN webcast of the ringing of the Peace Bell by the UN Secretary General.  The Sound of Peace is part of the Week of Interreligious Dialogue and the 11 Days of Global Unity.



The Pathfinders Commune CC assisted by SEA-Pac Regional Coordinating Office: “Celebration at Maharlika Elementary School in Metro Manila of Anti-Bullying Law in the Philippines” 
Location: Manila, Philippines

The Pathfinders Commune CC assisted by SEAPac Regional Coordinating Office will hold a joint celebration with Maharlika Elementary School in Metro Manila, in order to celebrate IDP. The event will highlight a program where anti-bullying as a law in the Philippines will be talked about particularly in schools and other institutions of learning. One of the activities will be "Drawing Images of Peace" on illustration boards, drawing papers (using crayons), and on the ground (this type will use colored chalks) where students generally Christians and Muslims will be grouped to draw together their concepts of peace and/or peacemaking. Illustrations and drawings using crayons will be posted on the stage against a huge wall. Another activity will be the individual pupil's pledge to the Talking Back to Hate. Photos will be taken for each activity and the huge crowd of pledgers.


URI Women’s Initiative Burundi: “Burundi Celebrates International Day of Peace"
Location: Nationally

This event was officially launched H.E. Mrs. Clotilde Niragira, the minister of Gender in Bujumbura Rural, a province neighboring the capital city. UN Special Representative M. Parfait Onanga Onyanga, with other high ranking officials, were among the participants. Women from the Twa, or Pygmy, group, were granted new houses built with UN support and were very joyous. In the Bujumbura mayorship, youth from four different ethnically divided communes, including Tutsis and Hutus, met and discussed ways to go forward with peace enforcement.  



Quested Peace and Women’s Initiative in MENA: “Quested Peace celebrates International Day of Peace with deaf and deaf-blind children”
Location: The Holy Land Institute for the Deaf-Al Salt, Jordan

Nour Nahleh, URI Coordinator for the Women’s Initiative in MENA, baked cakes with dozens of deaf girls. Children were divided into four teams to compete in group challenge games called “Sport for Peace” contests. Everyone prayed for peace and thanked Allah al mighty for food, health and all his gifts, then had the dinner together.

“Being among such a big crowd of deaf/ deafblind children was another ‘out of this world’ experience for Quested Peace,” said Ma’moun Khreisat. “We were up to the challenge; we broke the ice with the deaf so quickly, and we conducted the games so smoothly. They kept thanking us in their sign language after each activity. Acknowledging them was highly appreciated by them. I really cannot describe how peaceful and comfortable they were while we were holding their hands and playing together. They taught us how to do peace sign in their language.”



URI CC from the Great Lakes region, Uganda: “Launching of Interfaith Peace clubs in schools”
Location:Seguku Hill College in Kampala Uganda

The United Religions Initiative Great Lakes (URI-GL) office together with CCs like Twekolere Women’s Development Organization, Body and Soul Development, Youth Interfaith Mission, Interfaith Youth Partnership, and Latter Glory of Religions in Busoga, commemorated the United Nations Day of Peace at Seguku Hill College in Kampala. To launch the Interfaith Peace Clubs program in schools, the event introduced the program that shall be run by URI-GL office together with the different CCs. Bishop McLeod Ocholla, chairperson of the URI Great Lakes, in his remarks, said that peace is being in harmony with oneself. 

URI UN CC: “The Sound of Peace”
Location: United Nations Church Center Chapel, New York City

The Sound of Peace was a sunset prayer vigil to honor the International Day of Peace 2013 celebrated on September 21 at the United Nations. On September 18, inspirational prayers were offered by spiritual leaders, sacred musicians, and young poets at the United Nations Church Center. The celebration concluded with the universal sound of silence. May we continue to pray daily for peace in our world. Co-Sponsors of The Sound of Peace included the Committee of Religious NGOs, the Committee on Spirituality, Values-New York, and Global Concerns, the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations, the World Peace Prayer Society, Global Family for Love and Peace Cooperation Circle, the Buddhist Council of New York, and Lalitamba Magazine. The Sound of Peace is part of the Week of Global Interreligious Dialogue and the 11 Days of Global Unity. 



URI Pakistan: "International Day of Peace celebration in Lahore, Pakistan"
Location: Lahore, Pakistan

United Religions Initiative partnered with International Global Mission Awareness and Council for Interfaith Dialogue with Chief Guest Bishop Sebastian, who said that “Education for Peace” has invited us to come together and reflect on how to instill the value of peace in our people. Fr. Dr. James Channan O.P., the host and Regional Coordinator of URI, and Director Peace Center, emphasised the need of promoting education for peace at all levels of our lives, starting with our homes, schools, colleges and the places we work. He lamented that there is very little done for the education of our children that is why we have an illiteracy rate of 42%. The evening was a celebration of peace that included songs, tableaus and video presentations.
“We are working for the peace education of our children while the terrorists are working for the formation of the youth to achieve their goals,” said Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Lahore, Bishop Sebastian Francis Shaw OFM said while giving his remarks as Chief Guest to 120 participants at the Peace Centre of the Dominicans at Lahore.



A Better Community for All Pakistan (ABC4ALL): "Candle Light Rally on the International Day of Peace"
Location: Lahore, Pakistan

In 20th September, A Better Community for All Pakistan, Global Mission Awareness, Fellowship of Pakistani American Christian, and ABC4ALL School organized and hold Peace Candle and Interfaith Prayers for Peace at the front of Lahore Press Club. Christian, Muslim, and Hindu communities including women and children attended. Rev. Dr. Marqus Fida, Coordinator and Chairman of Global Mission Awareness, expressed appreciation for promotion of peace at the grassroots level and said that education is the best way to work towards peace and harmony. At the End Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM National Coordinator, Council for Interreligious Dialogue offered a prayer for peace in the world and especially in Pakistan.



Escuela De Amor CC: “Mass for Peace”
Location: Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, Argentina

On September 20, more than 100 people joined Mil Milenios de Paz and Escuela De Amor for “Mass for Peace.” During the celebration, Father Alejandro Russo pleaded for peace and unity, for the church and the whole human family in the whole world. When Holy Mass  finished, Mil Milenios de Paz gave Father Alexander Russo the Banner of Peace created by Nicholas Roerich for its blessing and enthronement,  as a symbol of unity and integration between different cultures.  



CC Campinas: “Meeting for Peace”
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

The program included a lunch in order to raise funds for the construction of a house in the neighborhood for a family Campo Belo women's group originating in the district and took place in a harmonious atmosphere where children, youth and adults shared their thoughts about how to improve inner peace, and thus contribute to a better world.



Volunteering for Peace CC: “Meeting for Peace”
Location: Palestine

The CC printed copies of a postcard created to close the 2013 IDP celebrations. The postcard represents the values and principles of International Day of Peace in Palestine and around the world, and was distributed by the hundreds. Download Volunteering for Peace CC's IDP postcard here.