By Oezge Kocak, Youth Engagement Intern UNA-USA
This year’s #PeaceDay celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The Right to Peace -The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.”
The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
To honor is important day, we rely on our members and citizens to come together and turn Peace Day into a day full of action. We invite you to celebrate International Day of Peace by taking action on your campus community. From education to the arts, social justice to sports, health to the environment, neighborhood issues to service to others, there are many ways to participate in Peace Day!
Here are a few examples:
o UN Peacekeeping efforts are vital for peace in countries that have been plagued by internal and/or external conflict. To celebrate Peace Day, sign a thank you card for UN peacekeepers and let them know that their work is appreciated, or you can encourage students to sign this online form. You can mail any completed cards to UNA-USA, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006.
Minute of Silence/Moment of Peace
o In 1984, in commemoration of the annual International Day of Peace and in solidarity with the United Nations, the NGO Pathways to Peace inaugurated the Minute of Silence at 12:00 Noon in each time zone, resulting in a “Peace Wave” around the world. Individuals, organizations, communities, and nations are invited to participate in this shared and practical act of peacebuilding on September 21.
o “A Piece of Pizza for Peace” is a unique way to celebrate Peace Day in your communities. Collaborate with your local pizza shop/s to celebrate Peace Day! Arrange with your local pizza shop/s to donate a portion of the revenue to a cause dedicated to peacebuilding. Invite students, university staff members, professors, and family members to celebrate Peace Day by buying a piece of pizza for peace. You can find more info at https://apieceofpizzaforpeace.org/levels-of-participation/
o The United Nations Association of the USA, in tandem with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its fundraising arm USA for UNHCR, is working to prevent a lost generation by giving refugee children the education they deserve to build a better future. Celebrate Peace Day by starting a fundraiser on your campus to support refugees around the globe.
Social Media Challenge
o To spread your Peace Day messages to as many people as possible, we highly encourage you to use your social media accounts. Here are some ideas to get you started!
• “I am taking action for #PeaceDay by (insert action). Will you join me?
• “Calling all Peacemakers! I invite you to join me and @una.usa on Sept. 21 for #PeaceDay by (insert action)”
• Make sure to tag UNA-USA in your posts and use the #PeaceDay hashtag so we can amplify your Peace Day celebrations on our social media networks!
o Volunteer: Engage in an act of volunteerism or service to help those in need.
o Do an act of kindness for a friend, family member, or stranger.
o Talk to an elder about his/her life experiences and brighten his/her day.
o Talk to someone who doesn’t share the same nationality, heritage or culture and learn more about them.
o Write to someone who you think is a champion of peace.
o Help resolve a disagreement.
o Read a book about peace to a younger child.