M Ibohal Singh
September 21, 2021 is the Day of Global Ceasefire and Non- Violence to be observed throughout the world.
This year’s theme is“Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” We are to celebrate this year IDP by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and also by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover. The IDP of Peace or World Peace Day is to strengthen the idea of peace, both within and among all Nations and peoples.
A brief information as to how its observance has been started is given below.
The United Nations declared with the approval of 191 Member States that, after recalling the General Assembly’s resolutions 36/67 of 30 November 1981 and 55/14 of 3 November 2000 and its subsequent 111th Plenary meeting of 7th September 2001, the observance of International Day of Peace (IDP) shall be made on September 21, each year as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all Nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.
In response to the UN’s invitations to all 193 Member States, Organisations of the UN system, Regional and NGOs and individuals to commemorate the IDP, in any appropriate manner including through education and public awareness and cooperation with the United Nations towards creating the global peace, the IDP has been observed since many years by the Nations, civil society organisations, religious and spiritual organisations, individuals and many more. IDP brought together many more organisations, mobilizing what UNESCO has called, the global movement for a culture of peace. This Day belongs to all citizens of the planet. So, let the musicians play, the peace and social activists demonstrate, the religious and spiritual community pray, the students and your community know about this Day and let all people celebrate IDP for a cessation of hostilities on this Day by observance of the global ceasefire and non-violence, with the universal prayer,” May Peace Prevail on Earth “ be chanted everywhere.
The prayers offered to the Almighty God is undoubtedly a universal way to address the conflict, by surrendering with faith and love to Him. The law of life is that the individual souls or spiritual conscious beings and the Supreme Godhead are always interdependent, comparable to two birds sitting on the branch of a tree. While the living entities under illusion eat the fruits of the material world, the Supreme witnesses the activities according to the free will of the individual as His best friend. Any way the present time is very appropriate. An interfaith prayer would be more effective and awesome transformative power for Peace if possible by following SOP strictly. but still it is difficult due to the present situations prevailing and also time factor. The best is at home by all concerned. It does not cost money at all.
The URI HQ, San Francisco has made the following proclamation having signed by Rev. William E. Swing, President of URI and others, on behalf of the Global of URI.
The proclamation is lengthy, but I quote only three as follows::
Whereas, we, people of diverse religious, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, established the United Religions Initiative (URI) to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create culture of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings(this is the charter and besides there are Preamble, Purpose, and Principles of URI);
Whereas, we are living in a world of Nations whose interdependence makes unity and respect for diversity, a priority for the survival and advancement of our civilization, and whereas, the issue of peace embraces the deepest hopes of all peoples and remains humanity’s guiding inspirations;
Therefore, in active demonstration of understanding, unity, cooperation and peace, we, members of the URI throughout the world, do hereby join the UN to proclaim September 21, as “The International Day of Peace.”
Manipur URI Cooperation Circle consisting of the members representing nine diverse religions and traditions in Manipur viz;Bahai’s Faith, Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu Vaishnavism, Islam, Jainism, Meitei Laininglup, Sikhism, and Tingkao Ragwang and many more have been celebrating the observance of September 21, The International Day of Peace since 2004 to honour this Day as a day of global ceasefire and non- violence, along with offering “a minute silence at 12 noon for peace in the world and this part of the globe”.! Indeed URI is global grassroots interfaith network and as such to demonstrate that the vision of URI would create it to be the safest and most stable bridge- building organisation in creating the cultures of Peace, Justice and Healing for the world and all living entities and ending the religiously motivated violence through promoting enduring and daily interfaith cooperation among all the people of diverse religions and traditions, we had organised a Symposium on the theme, “The United Religions Initiative ‘s Vision Towards Harmony and Peace” that year, 2004.
UN General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution initiated by Turmenistan, declaring this year 2021 as, “The International Year of Pace and Trust”
Generally, IDP should be celebrated : Peace Education, Intercultural and Interfaith dialogues, Workshop on UN Peace Day Theme and Meditation, Prayers, Planting Peach Poles and community gatherings, concerts, and festivals.
Celebrating IDP is mainly to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end the conflict and promote peace. IDP is also a Day of ceasefire- personal or political.
Peace Education can be discussed in many aspects and as such it may be even promoted in the class rooms and for that the teachers must be concerned by the following methods
1) Kindness and empathy
2) Avoiding punishments but make the students understand or repairing their conducts
3) Creating a democratic space
4) Using experiencing learning
5) Giving a voice to the excluded
6) Encouraging collaboration in diverse groups
7) Discussing controversial issues and so on.
So, it’s requested , IDP be celebrated through the individual prayers or on any form of spiritual and religious means or in any appropriate manner to fulfill its objectives for cessation of hostilities by way of observance of global ceasefire and non-violence by all religious and spiritually based groups/ communities, faith traditions, civil society organisations, men, women, individuals regardless of creed and all walks of life, and more particularly by all Manipur URI Cooperation Circle members without fail as we have been observing since 2004 till last year without break and this year individually in the respective house.
The writer is President of Manipur United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle and can be reached at email: [email protected]