It’s Peace Day 2018. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in 1981 (sponsored by the United Kingdom and Costa Rica) that created the very first International Day of Peace. Global communities increasingly embraced the UN’s idea of greeting neighbors, welcoming strangers and creating a more peaceful world, annually, on September 21st, or World Peace Day. On Peace Day, we all join together to declare peace as a collective conscious choice, and as our path to a brighter future. Peace Day 2018 celebrations are happening now in Italy and Afghanistan. Peace is celebrated today in Bangladesh, Colombia, Hong Kong, Juba, South Sudan, and in countless communities worldwide. See the United Nations Peace Day 2018 Events Map.
The historic UN resolution that established the International Day of Peace indicates Peace Day as a collective effort of the UN General Assembly to create a culture of peace, emphasize the importance of nonviolence, and bring an intentional focus to peace as a right for all people. Peace Day reminds us of our responsibility to establish peace in our communities and nations. International Day of Peace is proclaimed as a day for all humanity to celebrate our collaborations for positive peace. It is also a day for nations to cease all hostilities, so vital humanitarian aid can be delivered to vulnerable populations.
Peace is the first area of focus in Rotary. Educating, empowering and engaging Rotarians for peace is RAGFP’s core mission. Rotary clubs worldwide and the 1.2 million Rotarians are our inspiration. Rotarians come from all nations, religions, cultures, races, languages, ideologies, and factions. However, they all work for the advancement of humanity and world peace. Our Rotarian Action Group For Peace (RAGFP) members lead peace as a focus within their Rotary clubs and promote mutual understanding in their communities.
For Rotarians, every day is World Peace Day
The UN was founded in 1945, and by this time, Rotary International had grown from one original club in 1905 to over 6,800 clubs. Rotarians helped write the charter for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Rotarians, like Paul Harris, suggested the UN should be “given half a chance” to succeed. Rotary’s deep and historic relationship with the UN, is one reason why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 this year and it will also be a highlighted celebration on 2018 International Day of Peace.
Rotarians have advanced the UN’s sustainable development goals through their service above self. Rotarians around the world reduced polio cases by 99.9%. Together, Rotarians provide clean water, health, and education, protect mothers and children, and promote economic security. Rotarians wage peace.
In our August RAGFP newsletter, we asked Rotarians to celebrate International Day of Peace 2018 by forming RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs. Rotary International is recognizing our initiative today. It emphasizes Peacebuilder Clubs as Rotary’s grassroots infrastructure for peacebuilding in Rotary worldwide. The response from Rotarians to this RAGFP initiative is outstanding. Nine new RAGFP Peacebuilder Clubs formed around the globe in celebration of World Peace Day 2018.
If you have not yet submitted your application to become a RAGFP Peacebuilder Club, it is never too late for peace! Start the process on Peace Day. You can find the application here. Find more details in our newsletter.
Click and navigate our RAGFP Peacebuilders Club Map
to locate all 9 RAGFP World Peace Day 2018 Peacebuilder Clubs
RAGFP Board Member David Newman plays a vital role in one of the most outstanding celebrations of International Day of Peace in the world. Rotary World Peace Partners, District 5550 and Winnipeg community leaders host the Peace Days Festival that begins on September 11th and culminates each year on World Peace Day. In their ninth annual year, this year’s Peace Days Festival engaged the entire nation of Canada. 2018’s Peace Days Festival premiered a 3-part reality series, First Contact, aired on APTN. The series addressed stereotypes of indigenous peoples and sparked a nation-wide conversation about human compassion and mutual understanding.
Learn more about Winnipeg’s Peace Days Festival.
Rotarians globally also engage their communities on International Day of Peace 2018, through events and celebrations that raise the profile of peace within Rotary and beyond.
See the RAGFP 2018 International Day of Peace Rotary Events Calendar
September is an entire peace month at RAGFP, as we work on projects to educate, engage and empower Rotarian peacebuilders. We are happy to share with you some highlights about our September initiatives.
RAGFP Board Member and Education Committee Chair Alison Sutherland organized a LED Billboard in the city center of Cardiff, Wales. The Billboard says: ” International Day of Peace and Rotary is building international relationships, improving lives, and creating a better world.” These words will inspire an estimated 10,000 people per day who will pass this billboard. See it in our RAGFP World Peace Day 2018 Rotary Events Calendar.
RAGFP Executive Director and Rotary Peace Fellow Reem Ghunaim collaborated with associate Rotary Peace Fellows Jennifer Bradshaw and Carolyn Williams, on effective strategies to end cycles of violence and educate about positive peace locally and globally. The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego hosted and supported this initiative. Rotarians are very active in San Diego supporting peace education. The RAGFP is currently exploring possibilities with the Kroc School of Peace Studies to engage more Rotarians in supporting additional students.
We are excited Rotary International is spotlighting RAGFP on 2018 International Day of Peace. Please read the RI blog about RAGFP efforts to support Rotarian Peace Projects in Rotary Service in Action.
We thank our partner Mediators Beyond Borders for supporting a Rotary global grant to train 30 peacebuilder women from West Africa. Help us create new RAGFP highlights by engaging in this important global grant. Learn more here.