On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations invites us to remember our common humanity. Annually, many events are held around the world to commemorate this day, each offering opportunity for people to gather and reflect upon the shared goal of peace.

The International Day of Peace was established 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly and in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

This year’s theme – the Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace – highlights how ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring broadly shared prosperity all contribute to global harmony.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at a historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. These goals are integral to achieving peace.

“When people feel secure in their abilities to provide for their families, when they are given access to the resources they need to live healthy lives, and when they feel truly included in their societies, then they are much less likely to engage in conflict,” said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations on the 100 day count down to the international Day of Peace on 3 June 2016.

“We must recognize that development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We need to work together to help promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The leaders of the world have given us a clear blueprint, and by following it, we can help build a future of peace and prosperity, “ Ban Ki-moon said.

To acknowledge the profound importance of this Day the Melbourne based not-for-profit initiative Calm in the City will be hosting ‘Wake Up For Peace – your peace, our peace, world peace.”  This simple but significant meditation event will be led by a team of 21 special guest meditators; from teachers to practitioners; academics to business people; artists to sports individuals. Members of the public are invited to join this free meditation event, at Deakin Edge, Federation Square from 7.45 to 8.30am. Tickets for this free event are available here

Through the month of September, leading up to this the International Day of Peace, Meditation Australia will be posting reflections of shared, peaceful humanity through social media.  If you would like to host an event for your local community, under the banner of The International Day of Peace, please contact us with your event details and images and we will add this to our social media posts and website Events listings.

On the 21st of September the Secretary-General of the United Nations will celebrate the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence. Meditation Australia will be attending the Calm in the City event at Federation Square and look forward to hearing from our members as to how they personally commemorated this important step forward for humanity.

Article by Joanna Joustra

Executive, Meditation Association of Australia

Image by Pasqual Gorri