On November 16, the UN observes the International Day for Tolerance which aims to promote global understanding and respect. This day of observance was created in 1996 by General Assembly Resolution 51/95, stating the importance of tolerance as the basis of civil and global peace. As our world grows, cultures and ideas spread, and while there is an encouraging mixing of cultures, intolerance still remains all too prevalent. Intolerance can surface in the form of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, religious intolerance, incitement, etc.
The 62nd Annual DPI/NGO Conference entitled For Peace and Development: Disarm Now! took place in Mexico City September 9-11. More than 1,100 participants from 55 countries listened to inspiring speakers and heard powerful testimonies from victims of violence.
Mahatma Gandhi has become an icon for people all over the world who believe in nonviolence as a way of life and as the best way to overcome oppression. Nonviolence is a gospel way of bringing about peace and reconciliation. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit.”
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.
We write to invite you to join us in a renewed “Pause for Peace.” Initiated in 2004, the Pause for Peace asked people to take one minute each day, if possible at noon, to recommit themselves to peacemaking and hope; in 2006, we paused to pray in solidarity with the children in Northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This year we ask you to focus once again on peacemaking with a special emphasis on Africa.