International Day of Peace

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The International Day of Peace, sometimes unofficially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access. The day was first celebrated in 1981, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.

To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace” In 2001 the opening day of the General Assembly was scheduled for 11 September, and Secretary General Kofi Annan drafted a message recognising the observance of International Peace Day on 21 September. That year the day was changed from the third Tuesday to specifically the twenty-first day of September, to take effect in 2002.

A new resolution was passed by the General Assembly sponsored by the United Kingdom (giving credit to Peace One Day) and Costa Rica (the original sponsors of the day), to give the International Day of Peace a fixed calendar date, 21 September, and declare it also as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence World peace, or peace on Earth, is the concept of an ideal state of happiness, freedom and peace within and among all people and nations on earth.

This idea of world non-violence is one motivation for people and nations to willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that objects it will be solved by love and peace. Different cultures, religions, philosophies and organisations have varying concepts on how such a state would come about. Various religious and secular organisations have the stated aim of achieving world peace through addressing human rights, technology, education, engineering, medicine or diplomacy used as an end to all forms of fighting.

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