COE at the United Nations International Day for Peace in New York 2015

November 16, 2015

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

On 21 September 2015, the United Nations Education Outreach Section commemorated the day with a Student Videoconference at United Nations Headquarters. The theme for the 2015 International Day of Peace, Partnerships for Peace—Dignity for All, aims to draw attention to the important contributions that civil society has made to the achievement of peace throughout the UN’s existence as well as to highlight the essential role civil society, and in particular youth, will play in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will guide us on the road to dignity by 2030.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All”. The 2015 Theme aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the public and private sectors, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.

For the past years, the Children of the Earth organization takes young girls and boys to New York City for the United Nations IDP. Many of these young people come from the Resettlement center of Vermont. ln 2013 l was selected to be one of the international individuals to attend the IDP. This experience helped me to talk to others about the need for them to visit the UN, because it is an experience of a life time.

At the end of my trip to the UN l was able to ask and answer myself the questions and concerns below:

  • What is peace?

  • Its components?

  • Awareness of peace concepts
 and animation of citizenship leads to the eradication of violence

  • Valuation of progress made in terms of pacification and integration youth and children in the process

  • Support and guidance initiatives in this area

  • Measurement of progress in the promotion of peaceful
 development of projects and civic solidarity

Approximately 700 high school and college students on September 21st, 2015 had an opportunity to interact with UN Messengers of Peace gathered at UN Headquarters in New York along with youth participating via videoconference from Lebanon, a United Nations peacekeeping operation. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the students as well as Peace Messengers, Michael Douglas and Jane Goodall.

Vermont was invited to bring 50 students to this monumental event and carry the flags of the many nations for the ringing of the Peace Bell by Ban-Ki-moon. Our students were mainly from the Vermont Resettlement Project, with Laurie Stravand and Princess Ukaga, of Children of the Earth, orchestrated bringing and presenting these youth to the United Nations at this formidable event. This International Day of Peace is observed by millions people worldwide. We were so fortunate to be able to have been in the centerpiece hub for all this global activity.


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