THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
An Article for the Oban Times Newspaper
Thursday 20 September 2012
In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 36/67 declaring an International Day of Peace. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution 55/282 declaring 21 September of each year as the International Day of Peace. The intention of the resolution is to have the entire world observe a day of peace and nonviolence. Secretary-General Kofi Annan had asked all United Nations departments and agencies to expand their observance each year, extending a special invitation to civil society as well.
The UN International Day of Peace on 21 September takes place, each year, in parallel with the International Day of Prayer for Peace (IDPP) on the nearest Sunday which this year is 23 September. It marks the opening of each annual session of the UN General Assembly. The UN day is a day on which armed conflict is meant to be stilled, a day for combatants to observe cease-fires, a day on which all people are invited to commit or reaffirm their commitment to non-violence and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Now this is a big ask and yet on the night that Jesus was born the angels sang about peace on earth and good will among all people. Also in John 14:27 we read that Jesus said: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’ There is a famous prayer which simply asks: ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’. Each Day at Noon people around the world pray the words of the World Peace Prayer first used publicly by Mother Teresa in London in 1981 in connection with the United Nations Resolution:
Lead me from death to life,
from falsehood to truth;
lead me from despair to hope,
from fear to trust;
lead me from hate to love,
from war to peace.
Let peace fill our heart,
our world, our universe.
Peace, Peace, Peace.
As we read our Oban Times this week let us pray this prayer and mean it!