Following Dr. Jane's lead as a UN Messenger of Peace, members and friends of Roots & Shoots are called to celebrate peace each year in honor of United Nations International Day of Peace.
So, what is International Day of Peace? Take a look below!
Per General Assembly resolution 36/67 and 55/282, the United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening ideals of peace among people and nations. Officially the UN calls member states (countries recognized by the UN) to recognize the day with a global ceasefire. That means that all of the countries, if they are actively fighting, are asked to put down their weapons for a day in the name of peace. Around the world, recognizing the day can happen in so many ways.
The Roots & Shoots tradition is to celebrate the Day of Peace with with the signature Giant Peace Dove Puppets, which have been "flown" by young people and the young at heart in cities, towns, and villages near and far. By crafting and then flying these Doves, communities remember and affirm their commitment to peace. As Dr. Jane says, "With these humble creations made out of reused materials, we remind everyone that peace is possible. We celebrate all that is free and noble in the human spirit. And we celebrate all that so many people have done throughout the year—and will do next year—to create a better world."
In the past, celebrations have been held in cities all across the globe, including:
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Hong Kong, SAR, China
London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, USA
New York City, USA
Education for Peace
The theme for 2013 is Education for Peace. Aligning with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Global Education First Initiative, the three primary goals are: making education accessible, improving the quality of education and fostering global citizenship. As Roots & Shoots’ mission reflects, peace and education are integral to ensuring the welfare of our world and all its inhabitants: “To foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs and to inspire each individual to take action to make a world a better place for people, animals and the environment” requires practicing peace and sharing ideas with others. Education occurs whenever people come together and work towards a goal. To share is to educate! And to educate is to inspire and empower. This September 21st, consider how you can partake in educating and thereby promote peace!
UN Resolutions 36/67 and 55/282 have played a vital role in the celebration of International Day of Peace. In 1981, UN Resolution 36/67 declared that the third Tuesday of September (which is the opening day of the UN General Session) be devoted to celebrating and strengthening the ideals of peace. This could be done through public awareness and education, and should occur within and among all nations and all people.
Twenty-one years later, UN Resolution 55/282 declared that the Day of Peace would now be celebrated on September 21, so that it could be celebrated on a fixed day every year.