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International Day of Peace 2011

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International Day of Peace 2011

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Commemorations of the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21, 2011 in 62 nations organized by Universal Peace Federation chapters.

This year’s theme is “Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard,” indicating that the voices and practices of peace must not be silent or passive. We know that in too many places around the world, the voices of peace are restricted or silenced. Digital communications technologies, however, are making it increasingly difficult to suppress free expression.

At the same time, we know that technologies alone cannot bring about lasting peace. Peace has its foundation in the quality of human character and human relationships. And it has been our shared moral and spiritual traditions that, throughout millennia, have taught us of our common origins, purpose and destiny.

Therefore, as we celebrate the International Day of Peace, let us keep in mind that peace will emerge on the foundation of a moral and spiritual awakening. In this way, when we raise our voices to be heard, we will not have a cacophony of discord, but a symphony of harmony and good will that uplifts, encourages, respects and inspires us to act in service to others.

Lasting peace and the growth in solidarity among the whole human family comes from the recognition that we are all brothers and sisters. We are one family under God.

Let us also keep in mind that the basic building block of society, culture and moral character is the family. The family serves as the primary school of ethics. The family is the school where we learn to love, respect and serve others. By strengthening marriage and family, we can educate our children to respect all people, thereby establishing a culture of peace.

Religion has profound relevance and significance in the effort to achieve peace and development. At the same time, we recognize that all too often religious voices have sown seeds of fear, bigotry, and narrow sectarianism, contrary to the core spirit and teachings of the founders of the great spiritual traditions. For this reason, religion has often been a voice of conflict and division.

Laws alone cannot bring about political, economic and social reforms but must be undergirded by substantial educational programs aimed at promoting character education, conflict resolution, and a culture of peace. Men and women who are taught to fulfill their moral obligations and responsibilities toward others will respect and live for the greater good and fulfillment of others.

Commemorations of the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21, 2011 in 62 nations organized by Universal Peace Federation chapters.

This year’s theme is “Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard,” indicating that the voices and practices of peace must not be silent or passive. We know that in too many places around the world, the voices of peace are restricted or silenced. Digital communications technologies, however, are making it increasingly difficult to suppress free expression.

At the same time, we know that technologies alone cannot bring about lasting peace. Peace has its foundation in the quality of human character and human relationships. And it has been our shared moral and spiritual traditions that, throughout millennia, have taught us of our common origins, purpose and destiny.

Therefore, as we celebrate the International Day of Peace, let us keep in mind that peace will emerge on the foundation of a moral and spiritual awakening. In this way, when we raise our voices to be heard, we will not have a cacophony of discord, but a symphony of harmony and good will that uplifts, encourages, respects and inspires us to act in service to others.

Lasting peace and the growth in solidarity among the whole human family comes from the recognition that we are all brothers and sisters. We are one family under God.

Let us also keep in mind that the basic building block of society, culture and moral character is the family. The family serves as the primary school of ethics. The family is the school where we learn to love, respect and serve others. By strengthening marriage and family, we can educate our children to respect all people, thereby establishing a culture of peace.

Religion has profound relevance and significance in the effort to achieve peace and development. At the same time, we recognize that all too often religious voices have sown seeds of fear, bigotry, and narrow sectarianism, contrary to the core spirit and teachings of the founders of the great spiritual traditions. For this reason, religion has often been a voice of conflict and division.

Laws alone cannot bring about political, economic and social reforms but must be undergirded by substantial educational programs aimed at promoting character education, conflict resolution, and a culture of peace. Men and women who are taught to fulfill their moral obligations and responsibilities toward others will respect and live for the greater good and fulfillment of others.

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International Day of Peace 2011

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 2011
  2. 2. UN International Day of Peace One Day a Year … September 21st – millions of people around the world gather together under the banner of the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year’s theme, inspired by the Arab Spring, was “Make Your Voice Heard.”
  3. 3. UPF Programs in 70 nations … • Afghanistan • Ecuador • Latvia • Senegal • Albania • Estonia • Liberia • Seychelles • Argentina • Finland • Marshall Islands • Sierra Leone • Australia • France • Mauritius • Slovakia • Austria • Gabon • Mexico • Slovenia • Barbados • Georgia • Moldova • Solomon Islands • Belarus • Germany • Nepal • Spain • Benin • Ghana • Netherlands • Sri Lanka • Brazil • Guyana • New Zealand • Switzerland • Burkina Faso • Honduras • Nicaragua • Taiwan • Cambodia • India • Nigeria • Thailand • Cameroon • Indonesia • Norway • Togo • Canada • Ireland • Paraguay • United Kingdom • C.A.R. • Israel • Peru • United States • Colombia • Italy • Russia • Uruguay • Congo • Japan • Rwanda • Venezuela • Dominican Rep. • Kenya • Scotland
  4. 4. UPF AFGHANISTAN KABUL: Traditional Afghan songs of peace comfort people’s hearts.
  5. 5. UPF ALBANIA TIRANA AND SHKODRA: Donating school supplies for Roma orphans
  6. 6. UPF ARGENTINA — BUENOS AIRES: Participants in an interreligious “water of life” ceremony
  7. 7. UPF AUSTRALIA MELBOURNE: Sharing personal experiences in peacebuilding
  8. 8. UPF AUSTRIA VIENNA: Speakers at an interreligious service
  9. 9. UPF BARBADOS BRIDGETOWN: Planting trees at the A. Da Costa Edwards Primary School
  10. 10. UPF BELARUS VITEBSK: Conference speakers at the Regional Institute for the Development of Education address the history of burned villages.
  11. 11. UPF BENIN PORTO NOVO: A representative of the mayor of Porto Novo donates school supplies to an orphan.
  12. 12. UPF BRAZIL SAO PAULO: Religious leaders join in ceremonies at a Peace Monument.
  13. 13. UPF BURKINA FASO NANGREONGO: A festival of healing, unity and solidarity
  14. 14. UPF CAMBODIA Youth visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and pray for peace.
  15. 15. UPF CAMEROON YAOUNDE AND BUEA: Forums on Democracy and Peace
  16. 16. UPF CANADA MONTREAL: Discussing religious teachings about the oneness of the human family.
  17. 17. UPF CENTRAL AFRICAN REP. BANGUI: Holding peace conferences for adults and youth
  18. 18. UPF COLOMBIA BOGOTA: An interreligious celebration of the Hebrew New Year
  19. 19. UPF CONGO BRAZZAVILLE: New Ambassadors for Peace at a celebration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
  20. 20. UPF DOMINICAN REP. BARAHONA: Organizers and honorees at a program at the Regional University Center in Barahona
  21. 21. UPF ECUADOR QUITO: Speakers include a judge and a representative of UN Volunteers.
  22. 22. UPF FINLAND HELSINKI: A gathering to share personal visions of peace
  23. 23. UPF FRANCE PARIS: Panelists speak about positive aspects of multiculturalism.
  24. 24. UPF GEORGIA TBILISI: Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and Russians release doves.
  25. 25. UPF GERMANY STUTTGART: Serving refreshments after an interreligious forum
  26. 26. UPF GHANA ACCRA: Religious leaders open the program with prayers for peace.
  27. 27. UPF GUYANA GEORGETOWN: Prime Minister Samuel Hinds gives the keynote address.
  28. 28. UPF INDIA NEW DELHI: Students from four universities compete in a two-day “Play Football Make Peace” tournament.
  29. 29. UPF INDONESIA JAKARTA: A conference at the State Islamic University
  30. 30. UPF IRELAND DUBLIN: A multi-cultural celebration at the Lantern Centre
  31. 31. UPF ISRAEL JERUSALEM: Participants in a Jewish-Christian dialogue at the Church of the Dormition
  32. 32. UPF ITALY MONZA: An interreligious prayer vigil
  33. 33. UPF JAPAN TOKYO: The Afghan Ambassador to Japan describes his hopes for peace.
  34. 34. UPF KENYA NAIROBI: Planting “Peace Trees” to demonstrate a commitment to peace
  35. 35. UPF LATVIA RIGA: Learning meditation techniques that promote inner peace.
  36. 36. UPF MARSHALL ISLANDS MARSHALL ISLANDS: Meditating for peace; former President Kessai Note
  37. 37. UPF MAURITIUS QUATRE-BORNES: Foster children put on a program for their foster parents, tutors, and benefactors.
  38. 38. UPF MEXICO MEXICO CITY: More than 300 school children, teachers and university professors gather on the campus of the Universidad Panamericana
  39. 39. UPF MOLDOVA CHISINAU: Presentation at the College of Construction
  40. 40. UPF NEPAL KATHMANDU: Interreligious prayers for peace
  41. 41. UPF NETHERLANDS THE HAGUE: Representatives of five religions and four NGOs at the event
  42. 42. UPF NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND: Transcending barriers through a Bridge of Peace Ceremony
  43. 43. UPF NICARAGUA MANAGUA: Entertainment includes a traditional dance.
  44. 44. UPF NIGERIA JOS: Apologizing for violence done in the name of religion
  45. 45. UPF NORWAY OSLO: A forum at the Central Mosque on ways to counter terrorism
  46. 46. UPF PARAGUAY ASUNCION: A toast to peace at a conference on good governance
  47. 47. UPF PERU LIMA: New Ambassadors for Peace from the Peruvian Congress together with the UN representative Sra. Rebeca Arias and co-sponsors
  48. 48. UPF RUSSIA MOSCOW: Laying a wreath at a Monument to the Victory over Fascism
  49. 49. UPF RWANDA KIGALI: Planting a Peace Pole in a school yard sparks new hope for peace.
  50. 50. UPF SCOTLAND PERTH: New Ambassadors for Peace; a traditional Scottish welcome
  51. 51. UPF SEYCHELLES VICTORIA: A program at the National Theater
  52. 52. UPF SIERRA LEONE FREETOWN: Volunteers cleaning up around the Connaught Hospital.
  53. 53. UPF SLOVAKIA NITRA: Exhibiting children’s drawings about peace at a shopping center
  54. 54. UPF SLOVENIA LJUBLJANA-ŠKOFLJICA: A candlelight ceremony for peace
  55. 55. UPF SOLOMON ISLANDS HONIARA: Vura Community High School welcomes peace educators.
  56. 56. UPF SPAIN BARCELONA: A forum on “Libya: Present and Future” stirs much interest.
  57. 57. UPF SWITZERLAND GENEVA: A symposium on multiculturalism at the UN offices included a session of the Model UN Interreligious Council.
  58. 58. UPF TAIWAN TAIPEI: Diplomats and political scientists discuss the proposal for an interreligious council at the UN.
  59. 59. UPF THAILAND BANGKOK: An interfaith water ceremony at the launch of the National Interreligious Peace Council.
  60. 60. UPF TOGO LOME: A conference on leadership and good governance
  61. 61. UPF UNITED KINGDOM LONDON: Forums on peace initiatives in various parts of the world
  62. 62. UPF URUGUAY MONTEVIDEO: Participants in an Interreligious Peace Summit
  63. 63. UPF VENEZUELA CARACAS: People of all ages join in a Walk for Peace.
  64. 64. UPF & The Washington Times Foundation Washington DC, USA: Ambassadors to the United States, NGO leaders, and others study the UPF Peace Principles.
  65. 65. For details see http://www.upf.org/united-nations/peace-day

Editor's Notes

  • Connaught Hospital was built in 1912 during the British colonial era before Sierra Leone gained independence on April 27, 1961. It is the oldest and most central hospital in Sierra Leone. It has 13 wards, 700 sick beds, offices, a kitchen, laundry, operating theatre, etc. It was in a deplorable and messy state of affairs both in terms of administration and care for patients. Patients complain of excessive filth in all parts of the hospital compound, and rats and cockroaches enter the patients' rooms. Patients complain of poor sanitation, but the hospital lacks an adequate labor force and has few resources. The sanitation/environmental unit has only two laborers, since most of its work force has been cut over the past five years. Since the administration can no longer manage these tasks, UPF met two weeks previously and decided to take up this task.

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