Minute’s silence to mark UN Day of Peace this weekend

As UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urges nations to “demand the right of peoples to peace,” millions plan to gather in diverse celebrations

As UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urges nations to “demand the right of peoples to peace,” millions plan to gather in diverse celebrations

Millions of people will stop for a minute’s silence at noon this Sunday as part of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Prayers for peace will be held at services throughout the weekend and global meditations are taking place as people of all faiths come together.

Each year, the United Nations chooses a different peace theme for the annual day. The 2014 International Day of Peace is devoted to the right of peoples to peace, marking the 30th anniversary of a general assembly resolution of the same name.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon declared in his message for the start of the 100-day countdown to the day:

“History has shown that, no matter how fierce, conflict can end, peace can prevail and reconciliation can triumph. […] I urge every peace-loving person to engage with their friends and neighbours, their community organisations and governments. Together, let us demand the right of peoples to peace.”

In a time of turmoil, when the life threatening issues of climate change, armed conflict, nuclear arms and natural disasters are met by the growing inadequacy of our human institutions, we must all take up the call to co-create a global culture of peace.

The beauty of this day is that there are so many ways to participate, from the grandest concert for thousands, to the quietest moment of silence.
The minute of peace for silence has been happening every year since 1982 and has been an important way to unify our hopes for peace.

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Speaking about the minute in his recent address, Ban Ki-moon called asked us to use the time “to reflect on peace – and what it means for our human family. Let us hold it in our hearts and minds and tenderly nurture it so it may grow and blossom.”

Mother Earth will take centre stage in many celebrations, especially with the People’s Climate March in New York City on 21 September, where a million people are expected to take part. The Compassion Games and 11 Days of Global Unity will be also be coming to a close and a Summer of Peace has been leading up to Peace Day on the Shift Network.

We’ll also see giant peace doves as part of the celebrations in 20 countries through Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots programme. Peace messages and designs will decorate kites, pinwheels and banners throughout the world.

Are you ready to use gentler language, to stop a bully, to reach out and offer forgiveness? Who will you make peace with? From writing a cheque for a worthy cause, to calling a legislator to support protecting people and the Earth, to greeting someone new, you are building a global culture of peace.

All are warmly invited to answer the call and be counted among the global peacemakers celebrating the International Day of Peace on 21 September. Let’s connect with people of every nation and embrace our planet with love.