What is the International Day of Peace?

Introduction

The International Day of Peace, sometimes officially known as World Peace Day, is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September.

What is It?

It is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.

Brief History

The day was first celebrated in 1981, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. In 2013 the day was dedicated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to peace education, the key preventive means to reduce war sustainably.

Background

To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”.

In recent years, a searchable map of events has been published at un.org.

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