Each year on September 21, the UN invites all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities and commemorate the the International Day of Peace through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
In the quest for peace, the Universal Peace Federation and its Ambassadors for Peace around the world organize commemorations of the International Day of Peace each year. The theme for 2012 is:
"Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future"
Armed conflicts rob people of the opportunity to develop, create jobs, safeguard the environment, fight poverty, reduce the risk from disasters, advance social equity, and ensure that everyone has enough to eat. We want a future where natural resources are protected and valued rather than used to finance wars, where children can be educated at school and not recruited into armies, where economic and social inequalities are resolved through dialogue instead of violence. To read UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Message, click here.
Events organized by UPF chapters:
Argentina: Winners announced in the poetry contest on the theme of "Words of Meeting and Universal Consciousness"
Ecuador: Programs in Quito and Guayaquil
Germany: A forum in Stuttgart
Malaysia: A program in Ipoh, Parak
Nepal: Interreligious lamp-lighting ceremony at the Buddha Dharma Center in Kathmandu
Norway: European Leadership Conference in the Norwegian Parliament on "Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future"
Peru: Programs in Lima at the Peruvian Congress and in Trujillo
Spain: A forum and presentation of "Helping Your Neighbor" awards
International Day of Peace observances may include:
-Reading UN and UPF statements about the Day of Peace and observing one minute of silence
-A forum on the theme chosen by the United Nations
-Prayers offered by representatives of various traditions (for examples, click here)
-A ceremony of reconciliation (for examples, click here)
-Music, art, dances, and food from various cultures
-A march, rally, service project, or sports event (for examples, click here)