The International Day of Peace is observed around the globe annually on September 21. In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously established this day with the purpose of “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” According to the official website, “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.”
Mayor Bruce Teague has joined with the Johnson County United Nations Association and Iowa City Office of Equity and Human Rights in issuing a proclamation urging all residents to participate. That proclamation was delivered at the Tuesday, Sept. 15, Iowa City City Council meeting.
The theme for 2020 is “Shaping Peace Together.” Anyone can register a Peace Day activity on the official website. Peace Day organizers suggest using the universal statement, “may peace prevail on Earth” as an opening and/or closing to Peace Day programs and gatherings. Regardless of whether there is a formal event nearby, all can participate in the annual “Moment of Peace” or “Peace Wave,” which takes place at noon in all time zones. Simply stop at noon for one minute of silence; create one minute of peace wherever you are, whatever you are doing. As “noon” proceeds around the world, a 24-hour “wave of peace” also occurs, as people across the globe pause to envision a peaceful world.
This year’s theme is meant to counteract isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, spreading compassion, kindness and hope instead of fear, distrust and distance. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Learn more at internationaldayofpeace.org.