The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.
In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.
By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate.
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense.
International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind.
"On this International Day, let us promise to make peace not just a priority, but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are in whatever way we can, to make every day a day of peace." — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
"Simply the absence of war is not peace" — Anam Prem, India
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." — Martin Luther King Jr.
"Peace is not a thing to be achieved or a commodity to be stored." — Anam Prem, India
"Peace is not the absence of war; it is respecting and accepting each other and promoting human rights." — Miss Nida Ashfaq, International Young Catholic Students (IYCS), Pakistan
"I feel peaceful when I'm on the rollercoaster." — Anonymous child, Marin Peace Projects, USA
"…all religions of the world teach us to respect man, regardless of color, race, gender and faith." — Jahangir Piara, Organization for Peace and Development, Pakistan
"Peace is possible; when there is Peace is each of us." — Mr. Kamran, MARS Organization, Pakistan
"Peace is one of humanity's most precious needs. It is also the United Nation's highest calling." — U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
"Peace begins with a smile." — Mother Teresa
"There is no such thing as a good war and there is no such thing as a bad peace." — Benjamin Franklin
"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." — Mahatma Gandhi
"Peace is its own reward." — Mahatma Gandhi
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." — Buddha
"There are only two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit. In the long run the sword will always be conquered by the spirit." — Napoleon Bonaparte