Monday, September 21, 2009

International Day of Peace

Today is International Day of Peace‏
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Culture of Peace Initiative
September 2009

Dear Culture of Peace Initiative Participants (CPI),

We have more Peace Day news and events to share, along with very important news about the upcoming worldwide focus on the environment.

POST YOUR EVENTS: It is the weekend before Peace Day, and many people will be seeking events to attend. Please share your event at www.cultureofpeace. org or www.internationalda yofpeace. org. Note: Events posted on either site will automatically show up on both websites! There are about 600 events from all over the planet listed already! Take a moment to browse the calendar and imagine all of the people around the world building peace in their community. It is truly inspiring. It reflects the work of thousands of people preparing venues and outreaching to their friends, family and neighbors!

VISIT OUR BLOG: We plan to make frequent updates to the Culture of Peace Initiative blog in the next few days and the week of Peace Day! Take a visit in this upcoming week for posts on Peace Day events, videos and news!

24 HOUR WORLD PEACE CELEBRATION & GLOBAL BROADCAST for the International Day of Peace will be available at www.cultureofpeace. org. This broadcast will highlight the vitally important work of the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies with video presentations of the "UN in Action". The program will include the official ceremony at UN Headquarters, mentioned below. In addition, this "Peace Day" internet broadcast will include the work of many organizations and individuals around the world dedicated to creating a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Also featured will be Michael Franti's "Power to the Peaceful" celebration in San Francisco and The Jane Goodall Institute's 'Roots and Shoots' Day of Peace Festival in Santa Monica, CA.

UN WEBCAST: This year's ceremonies at UN Headquarters will be available live and for future viewing at the the following link: The program will feature presentations by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other UN dignitaries, as well as UN Messengers of Peace Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, Elie Weisel, and Princess Haya of Jordan. There will be performances by a choir from Japan and musicians from the Vermont Peace Academy; films from Yemen and Albania; and large screen video-conferencing with students in Iraq, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan and Timor-Leste. These will be followed by a presentation of Pledges for Peace, the Minute of Silence, the Ringing of the Peace Bell, and a Flags of the World Ceremony by the World Peace Prayer Society.


PRESIDENT CARTER TO RECEIVE NONVIOLENCE AWARD: On Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will be awarded the second Mahatma Gandhi Global Nonviolence Award from James Madison University’s Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence, which promotes education, peace and social justice in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. After leaving the White House, the former first couple founded the Carter Center, a non-profit organization that promotes nonviolence and social justice. The organization has helped farmers multiply grain production in 15 African countries, mediated civil and international conflicts, worked to prevent the spread of disease in Latin America and Africa, and strove to diminish the stigma against mental illness. The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence presents the award every two years. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu received the first award in 2007. He, like Carter, is a Nobel laureate and a member of the Elders, an international alliance of senior statesmen. Read more...

THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE SUMMIT: Just launched its website featuring live broadcasts and chats from the summit in Costa Rica this week. There are also forums, blogs and information in 42 languages! One of their goals is to get all nations to establish a Department or Ministry of Peace. As part of this, they are asking all nations to recognize the International Day of Peace. The Dalai Lama and Yoko One have already sent messages of support. www.gasummit. org

MORE MEDIA ATTENTION: We receive alerts from media outlets all over the world. We are happy to report that our group effort to capture the media's and peoples' attention to this global observance seems to be working. Please keep it up. Here are selected items that we have recently received. Ban Ki-moon mentioned it at the UN NGO conference in Mexico; Yahoo is offering ideas for Peace Day observances; the Bushnell, Connecticutt' s largest performing arts center, is hosting a celebration with notable speakers; Ode Magazine wrote an article about it; so did Whole Life Times; Friends Meetings (Quakers) are hosting events open to the public; libraries are now also participating in the Pinwheels for Peace program; the newspaper in Tampa Bay, FL is calling for a citywide candlelighting ceremony; Vassar College is having a Peace Week (with films, discussions, vigils and more), the Huffington Post covered it; there are veteran's luncheons in some cities; Amma & Shiva Rea are doing an observance together; the city council of Ashland, Oregon has approved a budget for a city wide observance; it was in the Kiwanis International newsletter; several environmental organizations have written about it in their newsletters; there are Montessori schools observing it; churches are planting and dedicating Peace Poles; and Juanes' concert in Cuba being televised worldwide.


FAST FOR LIFE - In a show of solidarity with the people of Darfur, Mia Farrow, Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel and many government and religious leaders are promoting - and participating in - the Fast for Life on the International Day of Peace. The video on their home page is very moving.

OTTAWA PEACE FESTIVAL - Is Ottawa the city with the most peacebuilders? The Canadian Department of Peace Initiative (CDPI) and the United Nations Association of Canada, together with several Ottawa peace and justice groups, invite people to take part in a 13-day Festival of Peace! The Third Annual Peace Festival with the theme of Peace, Unity and Harmony will mark two important dates, the UN International Day of Peace September 21 and October 02, the birth of Mahatma Gandhi 140 years ago. There will be dozens of events, including: forums, walks, school activities, films, proclamations, performances, speeches, diversity discussions, religious observances, environmental panels, exhibits, a trade show, and more. Learn more at: www.cicr-icrc. ca

ENVIRONMENT ONLINE (ENO) is a global virtual school and network for sustainable development, based in Finland. Since 2004, the ENO Programme has arranged tree plantings to celebrate Peace Day. There have been hundreds of participants in 124 countries. In 2008, over 300,000 trees were planted by 2000 schools. A special tree planting song and play have been created to celebrate the day. Their website includes photo galleries of past Peace Day tree plantings, instructions and a registration form for your school or group. A charity concert "Trees Rock For Peace" will be organized in Finland to provide tree seedlings to ENO schools in Africa. According to ENO Director Mika Vanhanen, this year 73 schools from Cuba alone will have a tree planting for peace! www.enotreeday. net, www.enoprogramme. org

CONCERT IN HONOR OF PEACE - at Carnegie Hall, NY by pianists Nimrod David Pfeffer and Bashara Haroni, on Sept. 23rd to support the Jezreel Valley Music Center in Israel, a multicultural community center where people from Israel’s northern region come together to sing, play, and study music. Its choir and ensembles are made up of Jewish and Arab people representing and combining their distinct musical traditions. Read more...

THE HAGUE MARKS THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE - In keeping with its worldwide reputation as International City of Peace, Justice and Security, The Hague is taking a special initiative on 21 September. The day will begin with a breakfast in the Peace Palace. Ambassadors, cabinet members, representatives of international organisations and companies, and the Municipal Executive will participate in the breakfast. The vice-president of the International Court of Justice His Excellency A.S. Al-Khasawneh will deliver a message of peace. Breakfast will be followed by a parade involving schoolchildren. There will then be a musical performance by Brainpower and The Party Squad. The local radio station Den Haag FM will broadcast live from the procession under the name of Radio Peace. The live performances will be broadcast on the radio and the schoolchildren will be asked questions about war and peace on the radio. The event will conclude with a lecture by the British historian Jonathan Irvine Israel. Mr. Israel is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Dutch philosopher Spinoza and the issues of peace and security. Read more...

SEASON FOR INTERFAITH CELEBRATION & 11 DAYS OF GLOBAL UNITY (September - December 2009) - Join hundreds of task forces around the world in prayer gatherings and workshops focusing on interfaith communication and harmony. Since 2008, AGNT has been partnering with Unity for 11 Days of Global Unity, a celebration of oneness from September 11 - 21. For more, visit, http://www.wethewor 7/About11Days. html

Important Dates: September 11: Unity World Day of Prayer, 102 years since the birth of Gandhian Nonviolence. December 2nd: New Thought Delegation Pre-Conference at Parliament of the World's Religions. December 3-9: New Thought participates as a unified movement in Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia.

IDP VIGIL - Since the G-20 Summit is in Pittsburgh, the IDP (International Day of Peace) Vigil Campaign, which happens to be based in Pittsburgh, has organized large observances throughout the Pittsburgh area. They have asked "all religious groups throughout the Pittsburgh metropolitan area take this historic opportunity to use their day of worship to link peace and the G-20 gathering. As nuclear disarmament is the UN's major theme of this year’s International Day of Peace, this also presents an excellent opportunity to address the horror of nuclear war." They have delivered a message of peace from Pope Benedict XVI to these religious groups. They have asked that these religious groups focus the worship’s sermon message on peace; use songs of peace, observe a minute of silence at Noon on the IDP, light a candle or ring a bell for peace, and encourage families, teens and children to observe the day. One church is hosting a Peace Pole planting and Flags of the World Ceremony; several churches are having interfaith services on the International Day of Peace. The IDP Vigil Campaign facilitates hundreds of vigils worldwide; many of these have turned into very large events - especially this year's observances in Australia and Malaysia. www.idpvigil. com


In 2012 the Kyoto Protocol to prevent climate changes and global warming runs out. To keep the process alive there is an urgent need for a new climate protocol. The UN and others recognize this and there is a worldwide conference in Copenhagen Dec. 6 - 18, 2009 to address this issue. At this conference the parties of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) meet for the last time on a government level before the climate agreement needs to be renewed. Therefore the Climate Conference in Copenhagen is essential for the world's climate, and UNFCCC is putting hard effort into making the meeting in Copenhagen a success, ending up with a Copenhagen Protocol to prevent global warming and climate changes. The UN has initiated the "Seal the Deal" Campaign to get all countries to support this, and leading environmental groups are rallying for it with various events - some of these begin on the International Day of Peace this year!

Global Wake Up Call! Flashmobs!- On Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace, in preparation for the upcoming UN summit on climate change, in Copenhagen in Dec., Greenpeace, Oxfam, CARE, Amnesty International, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the World Wildlife Federation, and several other organizations are coordinating a worldwide series of events including hundreds of flashmobs in cities, towns and villages worldwide - featuring forums, speakers, films, rallies and other major events. www.tcktcktck. org, https://secure. en/sept21_ hosts/

Climate Week NYC - The United Nations, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, The Climate Group, and the Carbon Disclosure Project are organizing Climate Week NYC, a program of more than 50 city-wide events from September 18-25, 2009. www.climateweeknyc. org

The G20 Summit - The G-20 Summit will be in Pittsburgh, PA Sept 24-25, 2009. President Obama will chair this meeting of leaders from countries around the world that represent 85 percent of the world’s economy. At the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, leaders will review the progress made since the Washington and London Summits and discuss further actions to assure a sound and sustainable recovery from the global financial and economic crisis. As part of this, the G20 'Climate Change' Summit will be marked by a call from unions for a deal in Copenhagen to secure green jobs and a sustainable future. www.pittsburghsummi


FACEBOOK: Please join thousands at our Facebook community at www.facebook. com/peaceday There you can see some of the latest events or post your own stories and links. The information and comments posted on this group's wall is inspirational.

TWITTER: Let the world know your thoughts or plans for Peace Day! Remember to spell it #peaceday, which will make #peaceday an active link that anyone can click on to learn more about Peace Day! Follow us at www.twitter. com/peacedaysept 21

RADIO INITIATIVE: A member of our Facebook page recently posted that she got all the radio stations in Edmonton, Canada to play the song 'Imagine' at noon on Peace Day. Perhaps we can all do this with radio stations near us - possibly followed by the song 'Give Peace a Chance'. (We liked this idea so much, that we have already sent this request to over 100 radio stations.) IMAGINE ON YOUTUBE: Here is a link to the song 'Imagine' by John Lennon on YouTube; it has been viewed 3 million times. com/watch? v=-b7qaSxuZUg.

MINUTE OF SILENCE: One activity in which all people can participate is the UN request for a minute of silence at noon in all time zones - this has now been observed consistently for 27 years.

Join others in making your pledge for the Million Minutes of Peace, a 1 minute worldwide prayer for peace at noon on the International Day of Peace, Sept. 21. www.odysseynetworks .org

Here are three things that we can all do on this International Day of Peace: help our neighbors, forgive someone, and count our blessings.

We want to thank all of you, and your supporters, for all of the work you have done on behalf of this year's global observance. We wish you peace for all of your events, activities, programs and initiatives.

Thank you, CPI Participants, for your dedication to building a culture of Peace for future generations on Peace Day and every day.

CPI Coordinator Michael Johnson, CPI Contributing Writer - Melvin Weiner, CPI Outreach Intern - Michael Kwan

Pathways To Peace (PTP) is the International Secretariat for the Culture of Peace Initiative, a designated UN Peace Messenger Initiative. PTP has been involved with the observance of the International Day of Peace since it's inception, and has nurtured it from a single event of a few hundred people in 1982 into what it has become today - a universal and global observance. PTP was responsible for getting the International Day of Peace printed onto calendars worldwide this year. PTP created the CPI website, which serves the 3,000 organizations and countless projects in 200 nations that participate in this local/global Peacebuilding initiative. Pathways To Peace also created the International Day of Peace website, which serves all of humanity. For more information or to support our efforts: www.pathwaystopeace .org

Acting in concert, we do make a difference in the quality of our lives, our institutions, our environment and our planetary future.
Through cooperation, we manifest the essential Spirit that unites us amidst our diverse ways.

Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) is a project of Pathways To Peace
PO Box 1057
Larkspur, CA 94977
www.internationalda yofpeace. org

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