For International Peace Day 2013, Pax Populi is proud to have launched its “Voices for Peace” campaign. On this special page, we have brought together ideas, interviews, and original posters from at least 14 countries, and as we do this work, new people are adding their voices. This work is important and global. Peace is not something that can be created in isolation. It is a team sport that needs the collective effort, commitment and courage of peacemakers around the world. Peace is a shared goal, requiring shared effort and intelligence, and fueled by shared love and compassion. Peacemaking is not for the fainthearted — it is hard work requiring sustained effort over months and years.
A Voice for Peace from Afghanistan , short video made for Peace Day
The Voices for Peace Collection
As the forces of violence, ignorance, and poverty continue to inflict their suffering on countless of victims, the peacemakers of the world are standing up, joining together, and making progress. We are proud to profile some of the great work of these peacemakers in this International Peace Day “Voices for Peace” initiative.
In 1982, the United Nations designated September 21 as the International Day of Peace, otherwise known as “World Peace Day.” This year, for the first time, the United Nations Secretary General has designated a theme for this year’s Peace Day, namely that of “peace education.” It is fitting to do so because all war, terrorism and systematic violence finds its origins in the human heart and mind, and when peace triumphs it comes by learning ways to achieve interests and resolve conflict without resorting to violence. This is one of the great achievements of human civilization and the purpose to which the Pax Populi® people-to-people peacemaking initiative is dedicated.
Powerful Examples of the Advancement of Peace
For those who are unconvinced that people can change and that peace is possible, consider this: since time immemorial, the history of Western Europe was one of unending wars, battles, and tribal conflicts. And yet, after the profligate destruction wrought by the First and Second World Wars, the citizens of Europe learned at a deep level the futility and absurdity of war among themselves and today they have become joined together as the in the European Union. Although today the thought of war between Germany and France, for example, seems unimaginable, the opposite was true for the generation of just sixty years ago.
The reality of intra-European peace is a vivid illustration that we humans do have the capacity to learn better, more peaceful ways to manage our societies and the conflicting interests that inevitably arise through social interactions. And it is for this reason that we commend UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for his designation of peace education as the theme for World Peace Day. As he put it, “It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.”
At Pax Populi, we believe that any individual, business, or organization that wants to do so has the capacity to contribute to peace, and our goal is to serve as facilitators to help make that possible, especially, but not exclusively, through educational initiatives. This is reflected in our mission, which is to put the tools of peacemaking into the hands of ordinary people through initiatives to advance peace through education and economic development within a framework of human rights. We do this by working together with individual volunteers and groups around the world. We believe that when one innocent life is harmed, we are all hurt. And when progress is made in advancing peace, we are all benefited. Together we work to cultivate the grounds of peace and together we will share in its fruits.
Please take a look at our “Voices for Peace” page as well as our Facebook page. A special note of thanks is due to Danielle Bonner for her outstanding work leading Pax Populi’s social media efforts and the Voices for Peace initiative in particular.
For International Peace Day and in the days, months, and years ahead, please consider how you too can contribute to making our world a little safer and more peaceful either by working directly with Pax Populi or with one of the many other outstanding peace organizations working hard to build a more peaceful world.