History about September 21 as a Global Peace Day
September 21 is lifted up as a day when communities are called to turn away from participation in violence and toward what they can do for peace. Each year on September 21, the United Nations’ International Day of Peace takes place in parallel with the World Council of Churches’ International Day of Prayer for Peace.
The United Nations International Day of Peace
In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 36/67 declaring an International Day of Peace. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution 55/282 declaring 21 September of each year as the International Day of Peace. The intention of the resolution is to have the entire world observe a day of peace and nonviolence. September 21 is held as a day on which armed conflict is meant to be stilled, a day for combatants to observe ceasefires, a day on which all people are invited to commit or reaffirm their commitment to non-violence and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Read more on the International Day of Peace: International Day of Peace
The World Council of Churches’ International Day of Prayer for Peace
Since 2004, the World Council of Churches has joined the United Nations in marking September 21 as a day of prayer for peace, the International Day of Prayer for Peace.
In their meeting on May 18, 2004, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia. Expressing appreciation that the UN General Assembly has designated 21 September as an International Day of Peace, Kobia shared with Annan his intention to propose to the WCC governing bodies that they invite member churches to mark that day with special prayer services. “As a day of prayer for peace, the invitation could also reach people of other faiths,” Kobia stressed. Annan warmly welcomed the proposal, saying that it responds to his hope that the International Day of Peace will encourage people in different contexts to reflect together on what they can do for peace.
The United Nations International Day of Peace Vigil
An ever-expanding number of people worldwide, representing a wide variety of religious and spiritual traditions, have committed to the task of working with other like-minded individuals and groups for an International Day of Peace Vigil.
The objective of the International Day of Peace Vigil is “to encourage worldwide, 24-hour spiritual observations for peace and nonviolence on the International Day of Peace, 21 September in every house of worship and place of spiritual practice, by all religious and spiritually based groups and individuals, and by all men, women and children who seek peace in the world.”
Visit the International Day of Peace Vigil website for more information: http://www.idpvigil.com