When everyone around seems to be on the verge of killing each other and World War III looks like on the go, peace is one thing we need to be praying about every single day. On 21 September, you can do just that, but together with the entire world, as everyone celebrates the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day.
This year, the theme of The International Day of Peace 2014, has been announced to be “Right of Peoples to Peace“. Appropriately chosen to mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, which “solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace”. The day will work as an additional push to remind of the foundation UN was built on and its purposes, principles and commitments. The theme also promotes the recently launched “Rights Up Front” initiative which focuses on the significance of peace in order to enjoy the rest of the human rights.
The International Day of Peace was created in General Assembly Resolution 36/67 on 27 November 1981. In the year 1982, the first Peace Day was observed on the third Tuesday of September and continued to be the Peace Day until 2002. That year 21 September was announced as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace, to be observed globally. On this day, the UN invites nations and people all over the world to celebrate the day of peace through education and public awareness. The day sees millions of people across the world attending and organizing events that voice out the dire need for world peace and elimination of violence and war.
The inauguration of the day is special in itself, where the UN Peace Bell, made from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, is rung at UN Headquarters. The bell was a gift from the UN Association of Japan, to remind the world of the human cost of war. An inscription engraved on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”. This year, lets come together and pray for absolute world peace and the end of violence, both big and small.