“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at the goal.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
There is a peace bell in New York which is rung to inaugurate the International Day of Peace which is also known as World Peace Day. The United Nations Peace Bell at the United Nations Headquarters is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa. The Bell was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as “A Reminder of the Human Cost of War”, on its side reads the inscription, “Long Live Absolute World Peace”.
In September 1982 the first Peace Day was observed, and in 2002 United Nations officially declared September 21 as the International Day of Peace, since then every year it is been celebrated by the United Nations by inviting people and nations to honour a termination of conflicts during the International Day of Peace, and to commemorate the Day by education and public awareness on issues related to World Peace.
This Day is a reminder to all the people of the nations to that United Nations is a living instrument in the service of peace and it also reminds everyone that they should keep peace above all interests or differences.
This year the theme is “Education for Peace”. The Secretary General’s message on this day is “On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
Some other important landmarks that were observed were when UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in 2005, called for a 24 hour ceasefire across the world to mark a day of non-violence. In 2007, a minute of silence was observed after UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon rang the peace bell in New York, calling for cessation of hostilities.
It is important for the world to realise the fact the dialogue can resolve conflicts and bring in peace and harmony among all nations of the world. After all, we must remember what Mahatma Gandhi said, that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.