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This year, 2013, the International Day of Peace is on Saturday 21 September. Special activities and celebrations will take place all across the world over the Peace Day Weekend, including festivals, concerts, a global Peace Wave with moments of silence at noon in every time zone, and much more.
Churches and faith groups are also widely involved in prayer, worship and peace mobilisation activities.
The International Day of Peace, also known as 'Peace Day' provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.
In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly, by unanimous vote, adopted Resolution 36/67 establishing the International Day of Peace (IDP) which stated in part, “…to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways.” The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982 on the opening day of the General Assembly.
In 2002 the UN General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent annual date for the International Day of Peace.
By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted a specific day and collaborative focus on worldwide peace and encouraged all of humanity to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the UN Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organisation, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organisation as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.
Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organised to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, sitting in silent meditation, or doing a good deed for someone you do not know. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organisation, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense, and does make a difference.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind."
* The Peace Day Global Broadcast: http://cultureofpeace.org/cpitv
* UN International Day of Peace: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/Tweet