The International Day of Peace

Sister Germaine Price, representing the Company of the Daughters of Charity at the United Nations, shares the news below from the UN in New York:

[UN-NGO] The International Day of Peace is marked each year on September 21.  The theme this year is: “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.”  On June 13, the UN Secretary General launched a 100-day countdown to September 21, by calling on combatants around the world to down their weapons and try to find peaceful solutions to their conflicts.

Just two days later, the Global Peace Index which ranks 158 countries in terms of their peacefulness, was launched. According to this Index, the world has become slightly more peaceful in the past year. ( The report links peace to prosperity. “If we could reduce violence by just 25%, we could save the world 2.25 trillion dollars,” Michael Shank, Vice President of the Institute of Economics and Peace said at the launch of the report.

While some report that global peace is growing, we are reminded daily of the cost of war and conflict in terms of human lives, environmental destruction and material devastation. It is difficult to measure the physical and moral toll of war and armed conflict not only in the present but also on future generations. The causes of violence between countries and within countries are complex, yet it is within everyone’s capacity to promote peace. Every person can contribute to a more peaceful world by daily, conscious acts of peace.

.With so much attention focused on Rio + 20, it is clear that we cannot hope for a sustainable future if our world is not at peace. Armed conflict and war rob people of the opportunity to work to eradicate poverty and advance social equity. Without a stable and safe social environment, it is almost impossible to create jobs, ensure essential services, food, water and sanitation, education and basic health care for all the world’s citizens. In short, it robs large groups of people of their future.

Since its inception in 1982, “Peace Day” has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It now includes millions of people in all parts of the world. The international day of peace is also a Day of Ceasefire—both personal and political. In the countdown to September 21, will we take the opportunity each day to make peace in our own relationships, resolve to make peace actions a part of each day?  Small or large, such actions impact our world and the larger conflicts of our times.  Let us help to keep peace growing in our homes, our neighborhood, our country and our world.

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