Each year on this date, the United Nations, individuals, organizations, spiritual groups, and corporations around the world recognize the International Day of Peace. In 2001, the 192 member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted September 21 as an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on the UN International Day of Peace. Millions of people are active and engaged in what positive steps can be taken if everyone lays down their weapons for 24 hours. It is, perhaps, difficult, with this morning’s news report of 9 NATO troops being killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan–and the Taliban taking “credit” for the action (though there seems to be doubt if it was an accident or an action)…but isn’t that an even greater argument FOR such a renewal of our dedication to worldwide peace?
In Afghanistan, for the past three years, 2007, 2008, and 2009, the organization Peace One Day has spearheaded a campaign that has resulted in the immunization against polio of over 4 million children as a result of Peace Day agreements by all parties.If there was no cease fire, that work could not have been done.
On Peace Day 2008 in Afghanistan the United Nations Department for Safety and Security, which monitors security related incidents, recorded a 70 per cent reduction in violent incidents on the day itself. This year we could, with global agreement, make that number 100 percent, not just in nations with active wars, but everywhere.
Find a way today to talk about peace–with your kids, parents, your loved ones, family, friends, in line at the grocery store or with the other soccer parents while waiting for practice to end; on the subway or bus, with the cab driver and gas station attendant; everywhere. Isn’t that a more pleasant topic to discuss than traffic or weather?