On September 21, the world will celebrate once again the International Day of Peace. Maintaining international peace and security is one of the purposes for which the United Nations was created. Although the International Day of Peace has been observed by the UN since 1982, it was in 2001 that the United Nations General Assembly decided that September 21 should be set aside each year and “be brought to the attention of all people for the celebration and observance of peace.” (A/RES/55/282) The International Day of Peace is to be “observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.” The UN Secretary General has called governments and citizens to focus this year on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
For more information about the International Day of Peace, please see the following websites:
- www.un.org/sg/peacedaymessage2009.shtml -- the UN Secretary General’s website for the International Day of Peace containing his message of 13 June 2009, marking the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace.
- www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/2009/ -- the website of the Secretary General’s campaign called “WMD - We Must Disarm”, with useful links. On this site you can also sign the “We Must Disarm Declaration” against nuclear weapons.
- www.un.org/disarmament/ -- site of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA). A renewed web site will be launched in October.
- www.un.org/disarmament/education/index.html -- web page of UNODA’s Disarmament Education: Resources for Learning. This page has a section for teachers and students, and many links to non-UN web sites (see section on ‘Resources’). The ‘Publications’ section has useful links to educational books, including the UN publication Disarmament: A Basic Guide by Melissa Gillis, released in August 2009.
- http://www.un.org/Pubs/CyberSchoolBus/ -- the UN website for students on global teaching and learning projects regarding disarmament.
- http://internationaldayofpeace.org – to see what peace actions are happening in your country on or around September 21st. You can also download certain materials from this site, such as the International Day of Peace logo (used above).