International Day of Peace
“Education for Peace ” is the global theme for the September 21st observance of the International Day of Peace in 2013.
Displaced people flee conflict only to experience additional violence and racism as they search for safety. Durable solutions are elusive, but the beginning of peace.
Ultimately people need occupational opportunities to realise their rights and experience sustainable peace.
United Nations Education Scientific & Cultural Organisation was founded in the belief that "since the minds of women and men that the defences of peace must be constructed." Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. It is the driving force behind freedom and tolerance. It stems the tide of ignorance and mutual misunderstanding, the means by which disagreements all too often degenerate into violence. Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts. Occupational therapists can join refugees and asylum seekers to shed light on the occupational experiences and the implications for human rights.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has the honour of being awarded the Nobel Peace prize twice! The Nobel Committee's remarks about UNHCR in 1954 still ring true today for occupational therapists engaging displaced people with occupational opportunities for health, healing, human rights:
“There may perhaps be some who do not believe that work for the refugees is work in the cause of peace (…). But it is work for peace, if to heal the wounds of war is to work for peace, if to promote brotherhood among men is to work for peace. For this work shows us that the unfortunate foreigner is one of us; it teaches us to understand that sympathy with other human beings, even if they are separated from us by national frontiers, is the foundation upon which a lasting peace must be built”.
Occupational therapists are invited to celebrate on September 21st. Meditate in a minute's silence on previous contributions to peace, observe the toll of war, and our profound need for peace - commit to strive in the coming year towards new professional and personal contributions that promote peace. You can find more images about International Peace Day to download from our Facebook Page - click to look through photos. Join the 24 hour broadcast hosted by Peace One Day.
"It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2013)
"Peace is not only the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic, participatory process where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation" ~UN Declaration on a Culture of Peace (1999)
“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” ~ J.F.Kennedy
Proclaims that the "peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace" and that the "preservation of the right of peoples to peace and the promotion of its implementation constitute a fundamental obligation of each State" ~ UN Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace (1984)
“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” ~ Aristotle
For more links see the United Nations (UN) Peace Day website
“Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed - but hate these things in yourself, not in another.” ~ Thomas Merton