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Mayors for Peace: The Hiroshima Appeal


An appeal from Mayors for Peace

On the occasion of its 10th General Conference on October 19-20, 2022, we, representatives of Mayors for Peace member cities, engaged in dynamic discussions on the theme “Creating a Peaceful, Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Cultivating a Culture of Peace in Civil Society.” The event also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Mayors for Peace. In August 1945, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the lives of over 210,000 people were ruthlessly stolen by the end of that year. Those who barely managed to survive were left with deep psychological and physical wounds that have yet to heal even today, 77 years later.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui reads the Hiroshima Appeal at the 10th General Conference of Mayors for Peace in Hiroshima on Oct. 20. (Jun Ueda)

In June 1982, during the 2nd UN Special Session on Disarmament, then-Mayor Araki of Hiroshima established Mayors for Peace, calling on the cities of the world to transcend national borders and join in solidarity to forge a path toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. Since then we have made steady progress on our path, and in our 40th year, membership in our non-partisan international NGO has now grown to 8,213 member cities in 166 countries and regions around the world.

In addition to our long-standing objectives to forge a path toward our goal of realizing lasting world peace, namely, Realize a world without nuclear weapons and Realize safe and resilient cities, in July 2021, we added a third objective, Promote a culture of peace, when we adopted the Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World (PX Vision for short).

The first objective, Realize a world without nuclear weapons, has been set forth with the intention of striving for the total global abolition and elimination of nuclear weapons as cities and their citizens remain their targets and taking into consideration the catastrophic environmental and economic consequences on a global scale of the use of those weapons.

The second objective, Realize safe and resilient cities, means that we recognize that certain global trends in international security, the environment, development, poverty, and the economy have profound effects upon cities everywhere and, if unaddressed, threaten the peaceful coexistence— if not the very existence—of the human race. To meet these challenges, we resolve to advance basic human needs and sustainable development.

To accomplish these objectives, it is imperative to cultivate peace consciousness and cause a culture of peace to take root in civil society. To that end, we have newly included Promote a culture of peace as our third objective.

Since the Russian attack against Ukraine, this armed conflict has led to a deterioration of international peace and security, jeopardizing the shared values of international society. The world has witnessed new threats to use nuclear weapons in this armed conflict, raising the risk of nuclear war to the highest level. In addition, the dangerous theory of nuclear deterrence, which attempts to justify the existence of such weapons, has gained further momentum. Moreover, possessor states continue to modernize their nuclear forces, diverting vast economic and technical resources away from meeting the pressing needs of sustainable development everywhere.

Amid such circumstances, at the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held in June, the Vienna Declaration and Vienna Action Plan were adopted. These documents reaffirm the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, unequivocally condemn any threat of use of such weapons, and call for an increase in the number of ratifying states, as well as improvement and enrichment of victim assistance provision. Above all else, we heartily welcome that these documents reaffirm the compatibility and complementarity of the TPNW with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

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Question related to this article:
How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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In contrast, at the 10th NPT Review Conference held in August, negotiations broke down, with many non-nuclear-weapon states taking note of the failure of the nuclear-weapon states to meet their disarmament obligations. The Conference came to an end, failing to reach an agreement to adopt the draft of the Final Document, which stated that a recognition of the inhumane consequences of the use of nuclear weapons must be the foundation for nuclear disarmament. This negative outcome only serves to further hinder progress toward nuclear disarmament and rejects the hibakusha’s wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Despite 40 years of persistent appeal by Mayors for Peace to pave the way toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we have still yet to see the formation of a solid international public opinion that will lead to realizing a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. It is our unshakable conviction that the only absolute viable measure for humanity to take against repeated threats of nuclear weapons is their total elimination. Given this, Mayors for Peace will prompt the UN and national governments, especially nuclear-armed states and their allies, to take immediate action and urge policymakers to effect policy changes for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

In doing so, however, while making efforts to lead the will of the public is one possible approach, we believe it is of the utmost importance rather to engage members of civil society, especially the younger generation—the driving force of the future. We will strive to create an environment in which they, in deep recognition of the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, raise peace awareness and prompt leaders to correct their policies in order to abolish nuclear weapons. To that end, we will work even harder to promote a deep-rooted culture of peace in civil society by means such as fostering youth leadership for future peace activities.

In response to the unfolding international situation, we hereby strongly appeal to the UN and all national governments to take the following actions at present to lower rising international tension and reduce the risk of the use of nuclear weapons:

* Share in the hibakusha’s earnest wish for peace and work for nuclear disarmament that will encompass the swift global abolition and elimination of all nuclear weapons. We especially appeal to nuclear-weapon states to take immediate action to fulfill and complete their NPT obligations, as well as agreements in the past Review Conferences.

* Break away from the theory of nuclear deterrence, ratify the TPNW, and increase efforts to pursue the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and progress on general and complete disarmament.

* Bring “Disarmament and Cities” forward as a topic for discussion at the UN General Assembly, since cities and their citizens must never again be targets of nuclear weapons.

* Visit the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and promote initiatives to convey to the world the realities of atomic bombings to make the experience of the atomic bombings a shared global experience as we approach the time when there will no longer be any hibakusha.

* Work to solve the diverse range of issues that threaten the peaceful coexistence between the whole of humanity to ensure the safety and security of our fellow citizens.

* Support all measures through education, advocacy, and international cooperation that contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace, including youth education on disarmament and non-proliferation.

With this Appeal, we reaffirm and strengthen our common commitment to achieve our agreed goals in the service of world peace and the security and prosperity of future generations. In commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Mayors for Peace, we hereby pledge to further strengthen our solidarity and continue our utmost efforts to promote peacebuilding by cities under three objectives in the PX Vision, following our Action Plan for up until the year 2025.

Global Peace Education Day: Virtual Conference


Excerpts from the website of Global Peace Education with links to youtube videos

Global Peace Education Day Virtual Conference
20th September 2022 – 11 am New York Time

Part 1: Call for a UN Day for Global Peace Education

Conference Host:

Michael Nouri: International screen actor; Goodwill ambassador for Seeds of Peace and the Multiple Sclerosis Society

Conference Chair:

Gabriela Ramos: UNESCO Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences (Click here for her remarks)

Welcome from Founders

Alberto Guerrero: President, Federación Española De Asociaciones, Centros Y Clubes Para La UNESCO

Why Campaign for a United Nations Peace Education Day

The United Nations declared 2021 as the International Year for Peace and Trust. The United Nations has established more than 150 international days for different humanitarian themes. However, there is no day dedicated specifically to the theme of peace education.

Because peace education is central to the United Nations central mission, it certainly deserves a special day for public awareness – a day to promote practical efforts in peace education throughout the world, a day to empower educators for peace; a day to connect and celebrate with others in the peace education field.

Keynotes: Call to the UN

Anwarul Chowdhury
Founder; Global Movement for a Culture of Peace; Former Under-Secretary-General, United Nations; Former President, UN Security Council (Click here for his keynote address)

Federico Mayor Zaragoza
Founder, Culture of Peace Foundation; Former Director General, UNESCO (Click here for his remarks)

Doudou Diene
Former Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (Click here for his remarks)

Ouided Bouchamaoui
2015 Nobel Peace Laureate, President, Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) (Click here for her remarks)

Prof Karim Errouaki, PhD:
President Emeritus of the American University of Europe . . .

Reiner Braun
Executive Director, International Peace Bureau (Click here for his remarks)

Garry Jacobs
President and CEO, World Academy of Arts and Sciences

Ambassador Amat Al Alim Alsoswar
Former Minister of Human Rights, Yemen . . .

Francisco Rojas
8th Rector, University of Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica

Part 2: A Culture of Peace

What skills and knowledge do we need to build a culture of peace on a healthy planet? Some leading voices offer examples.


Federico Mayor Zaragoza: Founder, Culture of Peace Foundation; Former Director General, UNESCO

Prem Rawat: Author; Founder of The Prem Rawat Foundation and the Peace Education Program.

Steve Killilea AM: Founder & Executive Chairman, The Charitable Foundation; Institute for Economics and Peace

Ramu Damoradan: Former Chief of Academic Impact, United Nations

Alexander Laszlo, PhD: Human Evolution to Peace

Willow Baker: Program Director, Peace Education Program, TPRF

Special Features

Tony Jenkins, PhD: Mapping Peace Education

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Question for this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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Part 3: Restoring Humanity

What skills must we learn to support more than a million people forced to flee their homes by conflict, climate change and persecution? Can peace education make us more human?

Keynote – Peace Skill: Right Relationship

Lisa Worth Huber PhD: President and Board Chair, National Peace Academy


Guila Clara Kessous, PhD: Moderator – UNESCO Artist for Peace

Richard F. Mollica, MD, MAR: Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma (HPRT) at Massachusetts General Hospital

Enayet Khan: Artist; Photographer; Publisher Rohingya Together; Mentor, Rohingya refugee youth in Cox’s Bazar, world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Professor Nisha Sajnani: founder of the Arts and Health initiative at New York University.

Héloïse Onumba-Bessonnet: victimologist specialising in sexual violence in armed conflict.

Part 4: Peace & Justice

“No justice, no peace.” How do we create a culture that offers peace, prosperity and dignity to every human being? How will peace education help us to face prejudice and injustice? How do we make equality reality?


Bishop Horace Smith, M.D: Pastor, Chicago Apostolic Faith Church


Philip Shelton: Moderator – Director, Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity, Indianapolis . . .

Rita Rubin Long: Educational consultant. Peace education facilitator.

David Weinberg: Executive Director, Global Peace Education Network, Inc.


Chic Dambach: President Emeritus, Alliance for Peacebuilding

Part 5: Peace & Leadership

How do peacebuilding skills merge with global economics to promote a culture of peace? How will peace education stop the scourge of prejudice and violence?


Stephane Monney-Mouandjo, PhD: Directeur Général, Centre Africain de Formation et de Recherche Administrative pour le Développement (CAFRAD)


Marc Levitte: Moderator – Executive coach; Senior Facilitator, the Art of Hosting.

Bakari Sidiki Diaby: Founder, CADHA-Afrique

Rachidi Adam: President, Paix et Education; Assistant Administratif, FODEFCA

Philippe Rio: President of the Association “Maires pour la Paix France”

Special Feature

Michael Nouri: Mayors for Peace letter

Part 6: Peace & Planet

The UN Secretary General warns that “we’re sleepwalking toward climate catastrophe.” How can education reverse this trend? Young global activists showcase solutions


Kehkashan Basu: M.S.M. Founder, Green Hope Foundation

Francisca Cortes Solari: Founder, Filantropia Solari

Alexia Leclercq: Grassroots environmental justice organizer; Co-founder, Start: Empowerment

Part 7: Arts and Peace

The language of the arts flows through borders and transforms lives. How do arts and culture nurture peace skills? Our artists offer a creative exploration.


Aixa Portero Y De La Torre PhD: Fine Arts Professor, University of Granada

RoundTable Panel

Alla Rogers: Moderator – Artist & Curator

Richard Dana: Artist

Melvin Hardy: Chairman, Millennium Arts Salon

Lucian Perkins: Independent photographer, and filmmaker

Sarah Tanguy: Curator

Part 8: Peace & War

Nuclear holocaust is closer than ever before. Armed conflicts are raging in 27 countries, with civilian populations mistreated by the military. How can peace education help end the threat of war?


Gina Langton MAMBM FRSA: Founder of 80,000 Voices Ltd . . .

Monica Willard: URI and International Academy for Multicultural Cooperation

Fawziah al-Ammar Phd: senior research fellow with the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies . . .


Tezekiah Gabriel: Executive Director, Pathways to Peace

Tadhi Blackstone: Institute of Noetic Sciences

The Search for the Exceptional Women of Peace Award: A Reflection


An article by Genevieve Balance-Kupang in Pressenza

On September 13, 2022, Pathways to Peace honored eight women peace awardees, the Exceptional Young Women of Peace [EYWP] and the Exceptional Women of Peace [EWP] to commemorate the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 1999.

Out of the 30 nominees, from different parts of the globe, eight were awarded– Emma DeBiase, Nina Meyerhof, Hortense Minishi, Lois Nicolai, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Rebecca Turay, Catherine Volk, and Salma Yusuf.

Awardees: Clockwise- Nina Meyerhof, Catherine Volk, Hortense Minishi, Oman Espe Njomo (Esther), Lois Nicolai, and Emma DeBiase.

Pathways to Peace is grateful for the presence and words of wisdom of our keynote speaker Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury.

I was privileged to be part of the EWP Leadership Team (LT) who read all the entries and selected the winners. Below is my reflection on the search process.

I would like to express my profound admiration and infinite gratitude to Pathways to Peace for its commitment to creating positive change and building lasting peace. Joining the Leadership Team was a tough yet invigorating task and an exciting adventure as we welcomed the nominees, read, and learned about their unique stories, and rated and deliberated the finalists.

I have learned through our peace work that the spirituality of celebration gives joy and bliss to those who participate in it. The campaign period, selection process, and eventually the recognition of the uplifting and life-giving works of women peacebuilders add value to their bravery, transformational leadership, and staunchness to the work of peace. Indeed, these women are beacons of strength and hope as Kimberly Weichel puts it.

Kudos to Pathways to Peace Executive Director Tezikiah (Tez) Gabriel, Project Lead Kimberly Weichel, and other fellow leadership team members Natasha Singh-Ally from South Africa, and Asha Asokan from India. It is a joy and pleasure knowing you, discussing and deliberating with you, and working with you for the advancement of the culture of dialogue and peace.

To read, re-read, or even watch and learn about the unique, touching, inspiring narratives of incredible women peace advocates from all over the world is like basking in the drapery of light of the vivacious grandfather sun glowing with its radiance giving hope, pacifying frightened and traumatized embodied souls. The stories of these women nominees are speaking to me saying “It is another day to shine,” Go, my lady, be not afraid, continue to get involved in recovery, in healing, in vivifying other beings by reconnecting and restoring.” Their narratives warm my heart so intimately that I am moved to do more and work with others with my divine core.

It is like listening to the chorus of the early morning chuckles of birds, chickens, and insects; it is like being a flower on a garden bed being taken care of by a loving and caring gardener. I felt the “authenticity” of the women advocates who were nominated, and amid the challenges we are experiencing like the covid19 pandemic, living in tents among refugees, among others, these women are up, working for their families and communities.

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Questions related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

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Many always say “to be nominated is an honor in itself.” I, therefore, congratulate all the nominees from many parts of the globe. Some have experienced the trauma of war and violence themselves. Some have transcended the scourge of poverty and lack of opportunities. Some have realized early on in their life, that peacebuilding is their calling and what gives meaning to their existence. And some are human rights, environmental and peace advocates, and interreligious dialogue practitioners. Some are widows and single moms who, in spite of their situations, find time to help others and work for peace and interbeing. Some have experienced great challenges like the lack of economic resources, but they have shown that collaboration and boldness to seek help from others will keep the peace work moving.

Some worked for peace for more than 40 years, or less, but they are known to have spent their energy and resources for the cause of peace. So, hurray, and my hats off to the following women: Pea Horsley, Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Nina Meyerhof, Dot Maver, Kat Haber, Barbara Condron, Monica Willard, Teri Miller, Pam Ahern, Caroline Myss, Aïssatou Adamou, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Hortense Minishi, Genevieve Balance Kupang, Maritza Adonis, Khadija Arfaoui, Najla Al-Sheikh, Maha Awn, Omam Espe Njomo (Esther), Somaia Alhosam, Lois Nicolai, Rabab Fatima, Elizabeth Sheridan, Martiza Adonis, Safiatou Dan Mallam Kindo, Salma Yusuf, Catherine Wolk, Emma De Biase, and Rebecca Turay.

Here are some lines that struck me as a reader of their narratives:

“I lost my son and his wife to gruesome killings. Nonetheless, I do not believe in the death penalty… Killing another person is not a solution to crimes done by lawbreakers…”

“I am you; you are me, there is no other.”

“I was bullied as a child…many drops of water form a mighty ocean. I believe our working together can bring about a large ocean of change…”

“I am a child of war. My family was displaced because of armed conflict. But we were able to lead thousands of volunteers to enhance security and stability, supporting women entrepreneurs, and working towards peace and development.”

“Joy is a special wisdom. Taking a long view in both directions of this remarkable human journey offers an assurance that we have free will and as conscious beings will ultimately choose light and love over destruction and violence. The challenges are seen and experienced like blades of grass growing up through cement.”

“We are invigorated in performing land blessings, planting peace poles, and infusing the world with the energy of peace. We are convinced that peace is possible. We all must do our part and become part of the solution.”

There were many precious words that were shared that cannot be captured in one article. Watch the awarding ceremony that honored these women and listen more to their words of wisdom on building peace. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1SjGSQOH5M.

Mabuhay ang lahat ng nanalo (Long live to the winners), finalists, nominees, and all peace advocates in the world. Long live all people of goodwill!

About the Author:

Genevieve Balance Kupang (Genie) is an anthropologist, consultant, researcher, and advisor to individuals and organizations engaged in working for good governance, genuine leadership, justice, integrity of creation, peace, the indigenous peoples, preservation of cultures, and societal transformation processes. She is a peace educator, author, interreligious dialogue practitioner, and resource person with a career in the academe and NGO.

UNGA77: Aisha Buhari advocates inclusion of peace education in African schools


An article from Sun News On Line

The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has advocated for the mandatory inclusion of peace education in the curriculum of basic education in African schools in order to promote a culture of peace on the continent.

She made the call at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings”.

The High Level event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Mrs Buhari, the President of AFLPM, who spoke virtually, said she it was necessary to include peace education in curriculum because of the peculiarity of conflicts in Africa.

“I made a case for the mandatory inclusion of “peace education” as an essential subject in the curriculum of Basic Education of schools in Africa, during the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, in May, 2022.

“I am happy to report that the initiative was well received,’’ she said.

Mrs. Buhari called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to do the same as core partners and implementers of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda (UNESCO)

She stated that she has extended a similar call to UNESCO, in consultation with other entities and partners, to consider developing a universal curriculum on gender, peace, and security education for all schools as a way of putting Resolution 1325 into action.

The Nigerian First Lady noted that the event coincided with the 22 years anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, and subsequently, nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.

Mrs Buhari added that it was also significant that these historic resolutions on the preeminence of women and girls in peace-building, peace-making, and peace-keeping processes were adopted in this great city of New York.

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Questions for this article

Can the women of Africa lead the continent to peace?

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“We are meeting at a time of heightened tension and conflict in all regions of the world.

“Therefore, it is time for women and their organisations to step up their contribution to the cause of peace and justice, and for the international community to attach greater value to the special voices of women in the peace process.’’

According to her, as a guardian and partner in the struggle for African Peace, the challenge is even greater “for our 12 year-old institution to rise and insist that women’s priorities are central to peace and security policy, at all levels.”

She added that “it is evident that violent conflict takes its greatest toll on women and girls, although we form more than half of the world’s population.

“In conflict situations, we are pre-disposed to the double jeopardy of horror and gender injustice in various forms.

“Already, there is a wide deficit in the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to limited access to healthcare, welfare services, economic opportunities and political participation by women and girls in Africa,” she said.

In a continent plagued by widespread disorder and state fragility, she said our individual countries were more than ever before faced with alarming ratios of maternal and child mortality.

“Besides death, injury and displacement, conflict destroys infrastructure, undermines  social ties, and reduces the capacity of states to deliver on the development agenda promised the African electorate.

“Our vital resources are increasingly being diverted to put out the fire at various battle across Africa – from the Sahel, to the Oceans,” she said.

Mrs Buhari said it was in the face of these difficulties that women had proved their peculiar skills-set as peace agents in conflict situations although this role has largely been ignored.

The First Lady said accepting and integrating the unique experience, capability and particularity of women into all aspects of the peace and security sector was therefore essential for the success of each of the components of our peace efforts.

“To achieve this and other goals, the social, cultural and political barriers that limit women’s full participation in achieving sustainable peace should therefore be addressed with renewed tempo.

“Happily, follow-up UN Security Council Resolutions 2242 have provided for “measures and standards” with which to monitor the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security mandates”, among others,’’ the First Lady said.

The Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and his wife; the wife of the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mrs Florence Egopija, Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, wife of Plateau state Governor, Mrs Regina Lalong, were among those that attended the event.

United Nations High Level Forum: The Culture of Peace Bolsters the Potential for Sustainable Peacebuilding


An article by Anwarul K. Chowdhury in Indepthnews

23 years ago today, on 13 September 1999, the United Nations adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, a monumental document that transcends boundaries, cultures, societies, and nations. It was an honor for me to Chair the nine-month long negotiations that led to the adoption of this historic norm-setting document by the United Nations General Assembly.

(Editor’s note: The Declaration and Programme of Action was drafted by UNESCO on the request of the UN General assembly and submitted in 1998.)

That document asserts that inherent in the culture of peace is a set of values, modes of behaviour and ways of life. I was highly privileged to introduce at the 53rd Session of UN General Assembly on its concluding day that resolution for adoption without a vote presenting the consensus text reached under my chairmanship.

20th anniversary of the culture of peace decision was the last in-person High Level Forum in 2019. After two years of virtual Forums, on 6 September this year, President of the 76th General Assembly Abdulla Shahid convened the in-person High Level Forum on The Culture of Peace. That was the eleventh in the series of annual Forums, the first day-long Forum being convened by the 66th President Ambassador Nassir Al-Nasser in 2012.

As his Senior Special Advisor, I had the full responsibility of organizing this pioneering initiative on 14 September. It was a huge success particularly amongst the UN’s civil society organizations which welcomed the opportunity they received to participate proactively along with the Member States and the rest of the UN system. Since then, the afternoon’s Panel Discussion has been considered as the civil society component of the Forum all these years.

Mandated by the UNGA resolutions, the Presidents of the General Assembly have been convening the annual high-level forums since 2012. The Forum provides a platform for the Member States, civil society, and relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the continuing applicability of the Culture of Peace in the contemporary contexts.

The Forum also has been the only UN gathering which was addressed by the largest number of women Nobel Peace laureates—six times out of eleven Forums. Also, the Forum’s panelists were always gender-balanced, on most occasions with more women, as was the case this year.

The Culture of Peace remains one of the key items for the General Assembly since 1997 when the Assembly decided to include a new and self-standing item to its agenda. This was followed by the UNGA resolution 52/15 of 20 November 1997 that proclaimed the year 2000 as the “International Year for the Culture of Peace” and GA resolution 53/25 of 10 November 1998, that proclaimed the period of 2001-2010 as the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World”.

Over the years the scope of the Culture of Peace expanded allowing adoption by the General Assembly multiple resolutions on a wide range of issues relating to various areas of its Programme of Action.

This year’s Forum theme was “The Culture of Peace: Importance of justice, equality and inclusion for advancing peacebuilding”.

It provided an opportunity to Member States, UN system and the civil society to explore and discuss ways to promote justice, equality, and inclusion for advancing peacebuilding and sustaining peace, especially through inculcation and promotion of the values of the Culture of Peace, as the concept note stated.

The concept note also underscored that “… there is no alternative to investing in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, with a view to build a common vision of a society, ensuring that the needs of all segments of the population are taken into account. Such vision encompasses activities aimed at preventing the outbreak, escalation, continuation, and recurrence of conflict and addressing root causes. At the same time, there is an urgent need to eliminate discrimination and inequalities and promote social cohesion and inclusive development, to ensure no one is left behind. In this context, as elaborated in the UNGA resolution on the Culture of Peace, empowerment of people to address the challenges in a peaceful and non-violent way is an essential component.”

The United Nations was born in 1945 out of World War II. The UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace was born in 1999 in the aftermath of the Cold War. Apart from the Charter, the Declaration and Program of Action is the only document which has focused so comprehensively on peace. Simply put, the Culture of Peace as a concept, as a motivation means that every one of us needs to consciously make peace and nonviolence a part of our daily existence. We should not isolate peace as something separate or distant.

Ever since the initiative taken by me in July 1997 to formally propose inclusion of a separate agenda item on the culture of peace in the UN General Assembly and its decision to do so, for the last two decades and half, my focus has been on advancing the culture of peace which aims at making peace and non-violence a part of our own self, our own values, our own personality. This has now become more pertinent amid the ever-increasing militarism, militarization and weaponization that is destroying both our planet and our people.

I believe there are two major developments that have the enormous opportunity to bolster the global movement for the culture of peace. Decision with regard to one has already been initiated while the other is still being brewed and hopefully will be ready by next week.

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Question(s) related to this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

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First the upcoming one—recognizing that education is a foundation for peace, tolerance, human rights and sustainable development, Secretary-General António Guterres has convened a Transforming Education Summit (TES) 16th to 19th September. Its three overarching principles are Country-led; Inclusive; Youth-inspired. All very relevant to creating the Culture of Peace. The Summit provides an opportunity to mobilize greater political ambition, commitment, and action to reverse the slide on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Summit should highlight that the Point 4.7 of that Goal includes, among others, promotion of culture of peace and non-violence, women’s equality as well as global citizenship as part of the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. It also calls on the international community to ensure that all learners acquire those by the year 2030. I hope the outcome document of the Summit would reflect 4.7 of the SDG 4 with strong emphasis.

Never has it been more important for us to learn about the world and understand its diversity. The task of educating children and young people to find non-aggressive means to relate with one another is of primary importance.

Targeting the individual is meaningful because there cannot be true peace unless every one of us value peace and non-violence and practices the culture of peace in their actions. Connecting the role of individuals to broader global objectives, Dr Martin Luther King Junior affirmed that “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” The UN Programme of Action on the Culture of Peace pays special attention to the individual’s self-transformation.

All educational institutions need to offer opportunities that prepare the students not only to live fulfilling lives but also to be responsible and productive citizens of the world. For that, educators need to introduce holistic and empowering curricula that cultivate the culture of peace in each and every young mind.

Indeed, such educating for peace should be more appropriately called “education for global citizenship”. Such learning cannot be achieved without well-intentioned, sustained, and systematic peace education that leads the way to the culture of peace.

The other major development was announced in 2021. At last year’s Forum during the Panel Discussion, the peace activist and globally respected Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima and President of Mayors for Peace in his virtual participation announced that “On the 7th of July this year, Mayors for Peace adopted its new Vision, titled: “Vision for Peaceful Transformation to a Sustainable World”. One of the objectives set forth by the new Vision is to ‘promote the culture of peace’, in addition to the ongoing objectives, “realize a world without nuclear weapons,” and “realize safe and resilient cities.”

He added that “Under this new Vision, Mayors for Peace will continue making our utmost efforts toward our ultimate goal of realizing lasting world peace in solidarity with its 8,043 member cities in 165 countries and regions.” This new vision would be placed at the center of the deliberations during 10th Annual General Conference of Mayors for Peace in Hiroshima this October.

These two developments—outcome of Transforming Education Summit and the Mayors of Peace initiative on the Culture of Peace—have the potential of making the Culture of Peace a major force in sustaining peace.

In conclusion I would reiterate that women have a major role to play in promoting the culture of peace in our violence-ridden societies, thereby bringing in lasting peace and reconciliation. While women are often the first victims of any conflict, they must also and always be recognized as key to the resolution of the conflict. It is my strong belief that unless women are engaged in advancing the culture of peace at equal levels with men, sustainable peace would continue to elude us.

In various parts of the world, women have shown great capacity as peacebuilders.  They assumed activist roles while holding together their families and communities. At the grassroots and community levels, women have organized to resist militarization, to create space for dialogue and moderation and to weave together the shattered fabric of society. Through my field experiences, I am proud to recognize that involvement of women in the peace process in various conflict areas of the world has contributed immensely to ensuring longer term benefits for their present as well as future generations.

As has been rightly said, without peace, development is impossible, and without development unachievable, but without women, neither peace nor development is even conceivable.

Often, I am asked how the UN is doing in the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted by the General Assembly in 1999. I believe that the Organization should own it fully and internalize its implementation throughout the UN system.  Also, Secretary-General should prioritize the culture of peace as a part of his leadership agenda. He should make good use of this workable tool that UN possess to advance the objective of sustainable peace. Not using the tool of the culture of peace is behaving like a person who needs a car to go to work and has a car… but with a minimal interest in knowing how to drive it.

I would repeat for the umpteenth time what former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan had said: “Over the years we have come to realize that it is not enough to send peacekeeping forces to separate warring parties. It is not enough to engage in peace-building efforts after societies have been ravaged by conflict. It is not enough to conduct preventive diplomacy. All of this is essential work, but we want enduring results. We need, in short, the culture of peace.”

I continue to emphasize that The Culture of Peace is not a quick fix. It is a movement, not a revolution!

One voice creates a ripple—many ripples make a wave—collectively, our voices for the culture of peace can transform the world.

2022: Nobel Committee Gets Peace Prize Wrong Yet Again


An article by David Swanson in World Beyond War

The Nobel Committee has yet again awarded a peace prize  that violates the will of Alfred Nobel and the purpose for which the prize was created, selecting recipients who blatantly are not “the person who has done the most or best to advance fellowship among nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and the establishment and promotion of peace congresses.”

With its eyes on the news of the day, there was no question that the Committee would find some way to focus on Ukraine. But it steered clear of anyone seeking to reduce the risk of that thus-far relatively minor war creating a nuclear apocalypse. It avoided anyone opposing both sides of the war, or anyone advocating for a ceasefire or negotiations or disarmament. It did not even make the choice one might have expected of picking an opponent of Russian warmaking in Russia and an opponent of Ukrainian warmaking in Ukraine.

Instead, the Nobel Committee has chosen advocates for human rights and democracy in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. But the group in Ukraine is recognized for having  “engaged in efforts to identify and document Russian war crimes against the Ukrainian civilian population,” with no mention of war as a crime or of the possibility that the Ukrainian side of the war was committing atrocities. The Nobel Committee may have learned from Amnesty International’s experience of being widely denounced for documenting war crimes by the Ukrainian side.

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Question related to this article:

Nobel Prize for Peace: Does it go to the right people?

When does human rights become a tool of propaganda?

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The fact that all sides of all wars have always failed and always will fail to engage in humane operations is possibly why Alfred Nobel set up a prize to advance the abolition of war.  It’s too bad that prize is so misused. Because of its misuse, World BEYOND War has created instead the War Abolisher Awards.

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Adding here some thoughts from Yurii Sheliazhenko:

NGO Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine) recently was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  with Russian and Belarussian human rights defenders.

What is the Ukrainian secret of success? Here are some tips.

– don’t rely on support of local citizens, embrace international donors with their agendas, like the U.S. Department of State and NED;

– support NATO membership of Ukraine, shame those who seek compromise with Russia  and ask the West to engage in war against Russia on Ukrainian side by imposing no-fly zone and delivery of armaments;

– insist that war is necessary for survival and no negotiations are possible;

– insist that international institutions are worthless and therefore human rights activists must ask for weapons for the Ukrainian Armed Forces;

– insist that only Putin violates human rights in Ukraine, and only the Ukrainian army are real human rights defenders;

– never criticize Ukrainian government for suppression of pro-Russian media, parties, and public figures;

– never criticize Ukrainian army for war crimes, for violations of human rights related to war effort and military mobilization, like beating of students by the border guard for their attempt to study abroad  instead of becoming cannon fodder, and nobody should hear from you even a word about human right to conscientious objection to military service.

“End War in Ukraine” Say 66 Nations at UN General Assembly


An article by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies in the TRANSCEND Media Service

We have spent much of the past week reading and listening to speeches by world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York. Most of them condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter and a serious setback for the peaceful world order that is the UN’s founding and defining principle.

But what has not been reported in the United States is that leaders from 66 countries, mostly from the Global South, also used their General Assembly speeches to call urgently for diplomacy to end the war in Ukraine through peaceful negotiations, as the UN Charter requires. We have compiled excerpts from the speeches of all 66 countries to show the breadth and depth of their appeals, and we highlight a few of them here.

African leaders echoed one of the first speakers, Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, who also spoke in his capacity as the current chairman of the African Union when he said, “We call for de-escalation and a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, as well as for a negotiated solution, to avoid the catastrophic risk of a potentially global conflict.”

The 66 nations that called for peace in Ukraine make up more than a third of the countries in the world, and they represent most of the Earth’s population, including India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Mexico.

While NATO and EU countries have rejected peace negotiations, and U.S. and U.K. leaders have actively undermined them, the leaders of five European countries – Hungary, Malta, Portugal, San Marino and the Vatican – joined the calls for peace at the General Assembly.

The peace caucus also includes many of the small countries that have the most to lose from the breakdown of the UN system that recent wars in Ukraine and the Greater Middle East represent, and who have the most to gain by strengthening the UN and enforcing the UN Charter to protect the weak and restrain the powerful.

Philip Pierre, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, a small island state in the Caribbean, told the General Assembly,

“Articles 2 and 33 of the UN Charter are unambiguous in binding Member States to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and to negotiate and settle all international disputes by peaceful means.…We therefore call upon all parties involved to immediately end the conflict in Ukraine, by undertaking immediate negotiations to permanently settle all disputes in accordance with the principles of the United Nations.”

Global South leaders lamented the failure of the UN system, not just in the war in Ukraine but throughout decades of war and economic coercion by the United States and its allies. President Jose Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste directly challenged the West’s double standards, telling Western countries,

“They should pause for a moment to reflect on the glaring contrast in their response to the wars elsewhere where women and children have died by the thousands from wars and starvation. The response to our beloved Secretary-General’s cries for help in these situations have not met with equal compassion. As countries in the Global South, we see double standards. Our public opinion does not see the Ukraine war the same way it is seen in the North.”

Many leaders called urgently for an end to the war in Ukraine before it escalates into a nuclear war that would kill billions of people and end human civilization as we know it. The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, warned,

“…the war in Ukraine not only undermines the nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also presents us with the danger of nuclear devastation, either through escalation or accident. … To avoid a nuclear disaster, it is vital that there be serious engagement to find a peaceful outcome to the conflict.”

Others described the economic impacts already depriving their people of food and basic necessities, and called on all sides, including Ukraine’s Western backers, to return to the negotiating table before the war’s impacts escalate into multiple humanitarian disasters across the Global South. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh told the Assembly,

“We want the end of the Russia-Ukraine war. Due to sanctions and counter-sanctions, …the entire mankind, including women and children, is punished. Its impact does not remain confined to one country, rather it puts the lives and livelihoods of the people of all nations in greater risk, and infringes their human rights. People are deprived of food, shelter, healthcare and education. Children suffer the most in particular. Their future sinks into darkness.

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Questions related to this article:

Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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My urge to the conscience of the world – stop the arms race, stop the war and sanctions. Ensure food, education, healthcare and security of the children. Establish peace.”

Turkey, Mexico and Thailand each offered their own approaches to restarting peace negotiations, while Sheikh Al-Thani, the Amir of Qatar, succinctly explained how delaying negotiations will only bring more death and suffering:

“We are fully aware of the complexities of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the international and global dimension to this crisis. However, we still call for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, because this is ultimately what will happen regardless of how long this conflict will go on for. Perpetuating the crisis will not change this result. It will only increase the number of casualties, and it will increase the disastrous repercussions on Europe, Russia and the global economy.”

Responding to Western pressure on the Global South to actively support Ukraine’s war effort, India’s Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, claimed the moral high ground and championed peaceful diplomacy,

“As the Ukraine conflict continues to rage, we are often asked whose side we are on. And our answer, each time, is straight and honest. India is on the side of peace and will remain firmly there. We are on the side that respects the UN Charter and its founding principles. We are on the side that calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only way out. We are on the side of those struggling to make ends meet, even as they stare at escalating costs of food, fuel and fertilizers.

It is therefore in our collective interest to work constructively, both within the United Nations and outside, in finding an early resolution to this conflict.”

One of the most passionate and eloquent speeches was delivered by Congolese Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso, who summarized the thoughts of many, and appealed directly to Russia and Ukraine – in Russian!

“Because of the considerable risk of a nuclear disaster for the entire planet, not only those involved in this conflict but also those foreign powers who could influence events by calming them down, should all temper their zeal. They must stop fanning the flames and they must turn their backs on this type of vanity of the powerful which has so far closed the door to dialogue.

Under the auspices of the United Nations, we must all commit without delay to peace negotiations – just, sincere and equitable negotiations. After Waterloo, we know that since the Vienna Congress, all wars finish around the table of negotiation.

The world urgently needs these negotiations to prevent the current confrontations – which are already so devastating – to prevent them from going even further and pushing humanity into what could be an irredeemable cataclysm, a widespread nuclear war beyond the control of the great powers themselves – the war, about which Einstein, the great atomic theorist, said that it would be the last battle that humans would fight on Earth.

Nelson Mandela, a man of eternal forgiveness, said that peace is a long road, but it has no alternative, it has no price. In reality, the Russians and Ukrainians have no other choice but to take this path, the path of peace.

Moreover, we too should go with them, because we must throughout the world be legions working together in solidarity, and we must be able to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies.

(Next three paragraphs in Russian) Now I wish to be direct, and directly address my dear Russian and Ukrainian friends.

Too much blood has been spilled – the sacred blood of your sweet children. It’s time to stop this mass destruction. It’s time to stop this war. The entire world is watching you. It’s time to fight for life, the same way that you courageously and selflessly fought together against the Nazis during World War Two, in particular in Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin.

Think about the youth of your two countries. Think about the fate of your future generations. The time has come to fight for peace, to fight for them. Please give peace a real chance, today, before it is too late for us all. I humbly ask this of you.”

At the end of the debate on September 26, Csaba Korosi, the president of the General Assembly, acknowledged in his closing statement that ending the war in Ukraine was one of the main messages “reverberating through the Hall” at this year’s General Assembly.

You can read here Korosi’s closing statement and all the calls for peace he was referring to.

And if you want to learn more about the “legions working together in solidarity… to impose the unconditional option of peace on the war lobbies,” as Jean-Claude Gakosso said, you can find out more at https://www.peaceinukraine.org/.

English bulletin October 1, 2022


According to our survey of the Internet there was a great increase in participation in the International Day of Peace this year. This was true in all regions of the world except for Ukraine and Russian Federation.

Of course, Ukraine and Russian Federation are a special case since they are at war. Despite this, there were 61 events from Ukraine and 45 from the Russian Federation, which is especially remarkable since, according to UNICEF, half of the children of Ukraine are out of school because of the war. Most of the events involved school children. On both sides of the war, they drew or cut out paper doves and wrote their wishes for peace on them. Often they sent them into the sky on balloons. Their actions were especially heart-wrenching this year. Has there ever been such a time when the children on both sides of a war could express and publish for the world to see their wishes for peace?

Elsewhere in Europe we found reference to actions in 293 communities, over 100 more than last year. As in previous years, the greatest number was recorded in Belgium where 136 towns and municipalities participated in a campaign to fly the peace flag on official buildings. The Collective for 21 September coordinated and described actions in more than half of the one hundred departments of France, including marches and demonstrations, often linked to the struggle to preserve the planet from global warming.

In Spain, several cities, including Navarra and Tolosa celebrated the day with the premiere of a work called “Zotoz” for female choirs. The choral performances were filmed in beautiful historic sites and made available on the Internet. In Italy, the national post office issued a special colorful postcard for the day which was available throughout the country. Also at a national level in Italy, the national network of schools for peace, along with many partner organizations, launched a national program of civic education for students called “For peace with care.”

In North America, Peace Day celebrations could be found on the Internet from 44 of the 50 United States and 7 of the 10 Canadian provinces. City-wide events took place in Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, among others. At the United Nations in New York, more than 500 students interacted with the UN Secretary-General and high-profile artists and activists. Among the many events coordinated and reported by the Pace e Bene network, perhaps the most unique was the report from Alan Sutton, “Posters that I got from Pace e Bene are on both sides of the camper on the back of my truck. It’s a continuous action in pursuit of a culture of nonviolence.”

Reports from Asia and Pacific increased by 50% from last year to 64 this year, including 17 from India and 10 from Australia. It was new this year that we searched using the Japanese characters for the International Day of Peace and as a result we found 10 instead of one event in that country. One of these was the festival of calligraphy in Nigata City, where calligraphers and high school students put their wishes for world peace into their brushes. Calligrapher Ayasu Shimoda said, “I think that we can do it by swinging the brush instead of the sword. I wrote it with my thoughts.”

Reports from Africa more than doubled from last year to 74 this year, including 18 alone from all the regions of Nigeria. The celebrations of the International Day of Peace took place in a context of armed conflicts, not only in Nigeria, but also in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau and South Sudan, among others. UN Peacekeeping forces took part in a number of these celebrations. On the occasion of the international day of peace, Lucha, a non-violent and non-partisan youth civil society movement in the DRC held peaceful demonstrations in Tshilenge, Beni, Kindu, Goma, Kisangani, Kananga, Tshikapa and Kinshasa “to show its solidarity with the compatriots of Bunagana and other entities of the ‘East of our country living under occupation of the M23 and other armed groups.”

Reports from Latin America increased by 80% from last year to 52 this year, including 13 each from Brazil and from Mexico. In Colombia, the celebration was linked to the struggle for reconstruction following the peace accords that ended their decades of war. In Bogota the House of Justice was covered with woven fabrics that were hand-made by dozens of people as a tribute to the victims of the armed conflict. In addition, there were cultural exhibitions, academic talks and a fair of enterprises of victims of the armed conflict and signatories of the Agreement.

In Mexico, for the International Day of Peace, the National System for Integral Family Development carried out a Mayan ceremony on the esplanade of the Expomaya in the city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. And in Costa Rica, the day was celebrated by a national contest for the best song for peace.

Reports from Arab States and the Middle East increased by 80% from last year to 28 this year. These included formal events to mark the day by the League of Arab States, the Muslim World League, the Assembly of the Peoples of Eurasia and ISESCO, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Events in Yemen, Darfur Sudan and Syria were carried out in the context of the armed conflicts in those countries. In Yemen, “Southern Women Group for Peace”, renewed its demands that southern women occupy their rightful place in all negotiations calling for peace, based on resolution (1325) issued by the UN Security Council.

In addition to the above, there were a number of international virtual events. Here are a few of them:
Songs for World Peace
Raising Peace Festival
Peace Day Live
Together for Peace in the World, organized by the European Parliament



What has happened this year: International Day of Peace



United States and Canada: International Day of Peace



Europe: International Day of Peace



Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace




Ex-Soviet Countries: International Day of Peace



Arab States And Middle East: International Day of Peace



Latin America and Caribbean: International Day of Peace



Africa: International Day of Peace

What has happened this year (2022) for the International Day of Peace

This year we give links to 293 actions carried out in 1O countries of Western Europe and 126 in 6 countries in Eastern Europe that were once part of the Soviet Union. We link to 209 actions in 7 Canadian provinces and 44 of the 50 states of the United States. There are 64 actions cited in 16 countries of Asia and the Pacific, 52 from 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries, 74 from 30 African countries, and 28 from 15 Arab and Middle Eastern countries. See the CPNN bulletin for October for a synopsis.

Detailed data may be found on the following CPNN articles:

Europe: International Day of Peace

Ex-Soviet Countries: International Day of Peace

United States and Canada: International Day of Peace

Asia and Pacific: International Day of Peace

Arab and Middle Eastern States: International Day of Peace

Latin America and Caribbean: International Day of Peace

Africa: International Day of Peace

Sign the World Peace Treaty


Introduction from facebook page of Pathways to Peace

With so many conflicts today being waged between political militias, criminal, and international terrorist groups, feelings of uncertainty and conflict are top of mind around our world. In response, a coalition of peacebuilding organizations launched a project for people around the world to sign on to a World Peace Treaty.

Called Sign the World Peace Treaty, the initiative intends to give both organizations and individuals around the world a vehicle to express their desire for a more peaceful world, and then encourages them to take concrete steps that activate that desire. The initiative culminates on September 21, the International Day of Peace (Peace Day.)

We invite you to join Pathways To Peace, Police2Peace, the Rotary EClub of World Peace, and our partner organizations, and Sign the World Peace Treaty Now!

Sign here.

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Question related to this article:

How can the peace movement become stronger and more effective?

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Text from website of Sign the World Peace Treaty

Each year on September 21st, the world celebrates the International Day of Peace (Peace Day) as established by unanimous resolution by the United Nations in 1981.

We witness our world yearning for peace, and there is a step we can all take toward greater unity. This month of September is dedicated to peace.  Let us recommit to peace by removing the perception of separation, perceived borders, differences, and limitations.  Let’s work together and engage in shaping and building peace. It is how peace can be realized for us all.

Signers of the World Peace Treaty:

° Commit to moving beyond the myth of separation to recognize our common humanity and support unity through diversity.

° Model integrity, high ethical standards, and peace that is grounded in love.

° Act to end violence and to embody the peace our humanity cries out for and deserves.

° Promote earnestly the ideals of peace and articulate positive evidence of peace in all viable ways, in particular by advancing the Culture of Peace in the best interest of humanity.

° Recognize The International Day of Peace (Peace Day) as a day to commemorate, strengthen, and celebrate the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.

° Can be organizations or individuals