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International Day of Peace, Global

Sep 22, 2008, 6:12 AM

Cease Fire - September 21

Another Year; another Special Day! 21st September - United Nations International Peace Day and Global Cease Fire! Each year people around the world observe and commemorate this day as a day of peace and global cease fire - cessation of hostilities, a day of mending relationships and peace building.

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 36/67 declaring an International Day of Peace. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. During the discussion of the U.N. 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.

And twenty-six years on individuals and organizations alike are provided with an opportunity each year to create practical acts of peace in a shared manner. Following the declaration of Peace Day in 1981, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a NEW resolution 55/282 in 2001 declaring 21 September of each year as the International Day of Peace and global cease fire. A cessation of hostilities for 24 hours can enable relief workers to reach civilians in need of food, water and medical supplies. Furthermore, in recognition of a day without violence it provides hope for citizens who must endure war and conflict on a daily basis and to some extent demonstrate that peace is possible.

The resolution: Declares that the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global cease fire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day...

The importance of a Global Ceasefire has also been stressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In a speech at the 2007 Peace Bell ringing ceremony, he said, I call for a day of global ceasefire: A 24-hour respite from the fear and insecurity that plague so many places. I urge all countries and all combatants to honour a cessation of hostilities. I urge them to ponder the high price that we all pay because of conflict. I urge them to vigorously pursue ways to make this temporary ceasefire permanent.

For centuries the world has and continues to experience armed conflict and live with the scourge of these conflicts. The proliferation of small arms and light weapons continue to fuel many of such conflicts impacting directly on the security of communities. With acts of terrorism being an ever present threat to world peace the need to combat it has become a constant struggle. Faced with these global challenges, the need for Peace Day commemoration is reinforced through our collective and individual efforts.

Thus on Sunday 21 September The Gambia join millions of people around the world to commemorate this day, remembering those for who peace is a distant cry: land mine and cluster bomb victims, internally displaced persons, refugees around the world, victims of rape and domestic violence, disaster victims, the hungry as a result of the increasing global food crisis and the state of the environment. And also for those whose basic human rights are constantly being violated. Spare a moment of thought.

Finally as we commemorate yet another Peace Day, particularly during this holy month of fasting (Ramadan), let us spare a moment remembering these victims while focusing on building a long-term culture of peace.

Wishing you a peaceful celebration West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) The Gambia