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Peace Day Background

Peace Day since 1981

The International Day of Peace was established by a unanimous resolution of the United Nations in 1981 as a day that "shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of Peace both within and among all nations and peoples." 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 impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.

Nations and governing bodies the world over are joining the call for Peace through a range of activities including ceasefires, proclamations, and pledges for humanitarian aid. Educational institutions use this occasion as an opportunity to teach Peace and nonviolence and to organize community service programs. Non-governmental organizations promote their year-round efforts on human rights, the environment, poverty, health care, disarmament or international cooperation, creating long-term impact beyond the annual observance. Religious and spiritual groups hold interfaith dialogues, meditations and prayers for Peace. Participation in the International Day of Peace is open to everyone: government leaders issuing proclamations, businesses creating special promotions, houses of worship holding peace services, schools holding assemblies, musicians dedicating their concerts to peace, and individuals participating with friends and family or simply taking a private "Minute of Silence - Moment of Peace". 

The Eugene Peace Team is associated with the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), a UN-designated Peace Messenger initiative established by Pathways To Peace. Thousands of events worldwide are listed at: www.internationaldayofpeace.org

The philosophy of Avon Mattison

Avon is the founder of Pathways to Peace and co-creator of the 1981 United Nations resolution that established the International Day of Peace. In this video, she calls to each of us to find our personal path to peace, to understand that our personal daily practice of peaceful living is intimately connected to the state of planetary peace, and to know that we each have the potential to change the course of history.

Related Films 

International Day of Peace 2012 (2:58) an overview of the meaning of the day, featuring the leadership of Pathways to Peace, an initiative dedicated to the UN Millennium Development Goals. 

‪Avon's Assignment(7:51) As a small child Avon began to wonder, "Why is everyone killing each other in the name of peace?" She had a transformational experience that set on the path for bringing an understanding that we are all part of an evolving culture of peace, and to acknowledge that fact on a universal day of peace.

‪Avon the Diplomat‬ (8:19) Gathering diverse peoples in a safe and inclusive setting for off-the-record sharing -- a process she dubbed "peace councils" -- became a successful strategy for bridging the distinctions that divide us.

‪The 1981 UN Resolution - International Day of Peace‬ (7:16) Avon developed partnerships with an international network of individuals. However, once the resolution for an International Day of Peace was passed by the UN in 1981, their work had just begun.

‪The Culture of Peace‬  (7:04) Pathways to Peace was founded to serve as a hub of inspiration for, and reporting on, the celebrations around the globe. The vocabulary of Peacebuilding and a self-organizing movement that connects local peoples to global intentions needed to be introduced.

‪Pathways to Peace (9:43)  The staff and directors of Pathways to Peace express their understanding of the meaning of Peace Day and the culture of peace, what Pathways has accomplished, and how they became connected to the goals of the organization. ‬ 

The Banner of Peace

Strategic Goals

  • Create a 4-year incremental strategy to achieve a extraordinary Peace Day event
  • Build a well-informed population of young people and adults via social media, traditional media, schools, and youth service providers regarding:
    • History of peace, globally and locally
    • Current status of peace, globally and locally
      • Identify local research organizations who can measure levels of peace
    • Trends in peacebuilding
    • Who are the active peacebuilders and their projects
  • Recognize peacebuilders in specific age groups
  • Identify local and global peace organizations for youth and/or adults
  • Commitments to daily peace practices for 365 days/year
    • Begin identifying who, what, why, and how of a Peace Team
    • Track Peace Team scores via technology, local media
Global Simulation Workshop
2012 Global Peace Index
Global Campaign for Peace Education
1000 Peace Cranes: Exploring Children’s Meanings of Peace

Global Actions

Organizations supporting Peace Day
11 Days of Global Unity 2012 Campaign
Peace Day Campaign
Connected - the film
Culture of Peace Initiative
Global Truce
Peace One Day ‘Insight’ Live Webcasts - hear and learn from business thinkers
Peace One Day for Teachers
International Day of Peace Vigil
International Forgiveness Week
Peace Jam
Pinwheels for Peace
Service for Peace
Peace merchandise
World Peace Prayer
Universal Peace Federation
The 8 Pathways to Peace
Peace Day TV


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