What is the UN International Day of Peace?

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.  It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. 

In 2002 the UN General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.

By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the UN Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:

"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."

Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.

Anyone anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, would be immense.

International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire - personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as address the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.

From the UU "Creating Peace" Statement of Conscience

In 2010, the UU General Assembly adopted the "Creating Peace" Statement of Conscience. Here is a relevant section from that Statement of Conscience:

Creating Peace in Our World

We covenant to advocate vigorously for policies and participate in practices that move our nation toward collaborative leadership in building a peaceful, just, and sustainable world, including:

supporting the Unitarian Universalist-United Nations Office in advancing the United Nations' efforts in promoting peace, and its implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

supporting the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in ending the use of torture and addressing institutional violence in all its forms;

supporting the Unitarian Universalist Association and our congregations in influencing public policy decisions made by the U.S. Congress and Administration; and

participating in international civilian peace building, peacemaking, and unarmed peacekeeping teams.

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