UN International Day of Peace

September 21, 2008

Today is the United Nations International Day of Peace. As a board member and secretary of the Global Peace Film Festival, I am privileged to be part of a movement that promotes world peace not just today, but every day. Peace will be achieved by looking for solutions to problems that impact all of the world's people - climate change, environmental issues, immigration issues, violations of human rights,  conflict, prejudice, hunger, poverty, inadequate health care, the lack of  clean water, and more.  This year the GPFF had 47 films from around the world that highlighted these important issues and more. All were inspiring and thought-provoking.  The festival is based in Orlando, Florida but travels throughput the year to other locations around the world including Japan and Israel.

The UN International Day of Peace was established as a global day of non-violence and cease-fire. Today guns fell silent in Afghanistan as NATO forces joined US and Taliban fighters in a cease fire.  The AP reported that it was the largest celebration of Peace Day ever held in the country.
When asked if he had any reports of violence, U.S. coalition spokesman Sgt. 1st Class Joel Peavey said, "Not at all."
"It's crazy, but apparently the Taliban sent out an e-mail saying they were going to abide by it if we were, and we definitely are," he said. "It's a great day to show Afghans exactly what peace is like and how their everyday life would be if they just booted out the bad guys."
From the UN International Day of Peace web site:
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 organized 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, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, 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.

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.
This film, Peace One Day, by Jeremy Gilley, was in last year's Global Peace Film Festival. Its message is about today, UN International Day of Peace. 

Peace to you today and every day!