United Nations Celebrates International Day of Peace
an article by Deborah Moldow and Monica Willard, The World Peace Prayer Society and The United Religions Initiative
The annual youth event organized by the UN Dept. of Public Information in association with Pathways to Peace, United Religions Initiative and the World Peace Prayer Society for the International Day of Peace was a great success with 900 people attending.
Under-Secretary General for Communications and Information Mr. Kiyo Akasaka opened the event by introducing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,followed by the Vice-President of the General Assembly, Dr. Hjalmar Hannessan. Next came the Messengers of Peace. Actor Michael Douglas, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Elie Wiesel, and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein of Jordan.
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The students were linked by satellite with youth at UN Peacekeeping sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon and Sudan, providing information on life in areas of conflict and testimony from young people sharing their personal experience of war. Five youth presenters were: Ana Dodson of Peruvian Hearts, Mitch Paine, of Dr. Goodall’s Roots and Shoots, James Ajokomo Lual, Sudanese refugee, and Federick Huballa and Taylor Reed, both representing PeaceJam and its “Call to Global Action” written by the Nobel Peace Laureates.
Monica Willard introduced Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, wife of the Secretary-General, who rang the bell for peace. Everyone joined with the entire building in the Minute of Silence at 12 noon.
Hip-hop artist Chris "Kazi" Rolle, star of feature film “The Hip Hop Project,” shared a video about using hip-hop to promote good and dazzled the students by performing one of his hit songs. He also taught the students a hip-hop version of "May Peace Prevail on Earth" to accompany Deborah Moldow leading the World Peace Flag Ceremony. As always, the World Peace Flag Ceremony left everyone feeling inspired and uplifted, capping the event with a joyful message of peace.
Earlier in the day, the newly elected UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the 2007 International Day of Peace with the traditional ringing of the Peace Bell at 9:30 a.m. in the Japanese Garden. He delivered his powerful message for the International Day of Peace, stating that peace is the mission of the United Nations, but that it is not easy. He urged, “On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are in whatever way we can, to make every day a day of peace.”
May Peace Prevail on Earth.
Question(s) related to this article:
How are you celebrating Peace Day?,
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Latest reader comment:
It is difficult to find extensive listings of the many events celebrating the International Day of Peace around the world. An exception is the United Religions Initiative which lists events for the IDP 2014 by their affiliates in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, United States and the Philippines.