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CAC Peace Day
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Having watched 'Peace One Day', students wrote responses to the DVD, outlining the work of Jeremy Gilley, his challenges and successes and events since the establishment of the International Day of Peace and Global Ceasefire.
Here are excerpts from their responses:
In 1999, Jeremy Gilley launched the project Peace one day to try and establish a starting point for peace. His mission was to document his efforts to launch the first ever-annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a particular calendar date. The first ceremony was held in the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London but it was not largely recognized by the press or the public, it was mostly attended by Jeremy’s friends. At this point, he realized that was going to have to work much harder to spread the message of peace and to gain the support of the United Nations.
The first step he took was to set up a meeting with Nobel Prize Laureate and former president of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias, to discuss the idea. Jeremy discovered that there was already a peace day established by Costa Rica in 1981.In 2000, he visited Africa, the Indian sub-continent and Middle East. In Africa, peace talks took place in Burundi and Rwanda. In India, he spoke with His holiness the Dalai Lama who expressed his complete support of the idea of Peace day and finally he talked to Nobel Laureate Shimon Perez who also offered his support.
In 2001, Jeremy met with UN secretary General, Kofi Anan who also expressed interest and support for a day of global ceasefire and non-violence. They conferred about the ways to deal with the day once it was achieved. Jeremy needed the backing of his own country, England, which perhaps would have helped in convincing other nations to believe in the cause therefore he set up a meeting in London with the former minister of foreign affairs, John battle where he announced that England would consider being a sponsor at the upcoming General Assembly. He also met with Mary Robinson, the High commissioner for the UNHCR in Geneva and the Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy.
Jeremy Gilley the founder of “Peace One Day” came up with this idea after learning about the former Costa Rican president failing at making peace day a worldwide event. He, unlike Gilley, did not have determination for this special day. Jeremy was not willing to give up on this idea. He did what it took and along the way he was faced with many challenges, but in the end his dream was achieved.
One of the major challenges for Gilley was getting September 21st to be the international day of peace and making it known worldwide. It all started in 1999 when he envisioned the world at peace and wanted to make the change. His initial idea was to bring the world together through one day of ceasefire so everyone would be at peace. Along the way he met with the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, Amre Moussa, Ahmad Fawzi, and other major political figures to get the support that was needed in order for the day to succeed. Through each one of these individuals it made him one step closer to getting his dream and these men were the key to his success. If Jeremy did not have the support of the GA or members of the UN his goal would have never been achieved.
Through the Peace One Day association the entire world benefits because it allows for one day with no killing or fighting. From having one day of ceasefire many lives are saved while also conflicts are avoided.
Jeremy Gilley pushed on. He realized that the only way for a global cease fire to happen would be to go to countries were conflict was common and fighting was a daily occurrence. He traveled extensively and met with leaders from many countries including the Dalai Lama who of course supported his plan wholeheartedly. But still he seemed to go nowhere; although he met with leaders of countries in conflict, it was not enough to create a day of global cease fire. Then he decided he needed a universal power to enforce his idea and that is where the UN came in. The UN voted and agreed to the date and what it stood for. The next step was getting the word out. But unfortunately disaster struck. Not long after the UN passed the notion, 9/11 occurred and over three thousand people were killed in New York. Ironically New York was where the UN passed the notion. Just when everything seemed to be moving forward the worst thing possible happened to Jeremy and his intensions. All seemed lost, but not to Mr. Gilley. This gave him more of a reason then ever to succeed with his dream. So a year later on the 21 of September 2002 he organized a concert with famous celebrities to spread the word on peace. To this year of 2010 peace day has been celebrated and has made a difference by making the world a better place to live. So thank you Jeremy Gilley for always having hope and doing what it is you believed in.
Peace one day shows the experiences and challenges of Jeremy Gilley but most importantly it educates us and proves that one man can make something happen, it could it week, months or in Jeremy’s case years, but change will occur. Peace is key and people do recognize peace. Unfortunately peace is not permanent yet but it is present and September 21st is global peace day all around the world, and that is where it begins.
This film really changed my outlook on peace and war. I enjoyed this film, especially the ending in which I had butterflies in my stomach and goose bumps started to rise from my arms. I learned that it is not so simple to create a day of peace; it takes a lot of fight and energy in order to do it. Even though Jeremy Gilley faced a tough challenge in the beginning it did not stop him. It actually motivated him to do more, and to complete this task as fast as he could. I learned about the families and children that were affected by warfare around them and had no choice but to take a role in it. This 24 hour peace session would be the very cure that they needed. Even though it is only a day, it is better than nothing at all. Jeremy Gilley did an excellent job of creating the first annual global ceasefire day, and is still continuing today to try and reach everybody across the globe about this phenomenon. These are the kind of people we need in this world, in order to have a safe and better future.
After watching this film, I have found that I am very lucky to be living the life I am as compared to people who live in areas of conflict. Its relieving to know that I can walk out of my front door and feel safe, and not have to worry about militia men destroying my village. This documentary made me realize the true meaning of the word peace and how and international global ceasefire day, although may not benefit me, may benefit the tens of thousands of men and women around the world. For me to stand up and say that I believe in peace has a deep meaning in my heart and is not just another word in the English language.
This documentary was very motivational to me, for it proved that anything is possible. I being a firsthand witness of the lack of peace in my own country (Somalia) made me very skeptic and cynical about the possibility of peace in any country. Although I was very skeptic about the possibility of peace one day, I soon found out it was possible. With majority of the nations able to create a day of ceasefire, that means that anything is possible. Unlike a lot of people that wanted peace, he made a documentary and traveled all over the world to see whether peace one day was a lost cause or whether it could be possible. This is very inspirational to me because he was a nobody and yet he was able to meet with the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and many other influential people and representatives in the UN. I learned that peace is possible and that it would help many people in the world. He achieved what he wanted to achieve which was cultural unity, and love for peace just for a day.
There are cynics around in the world who choose to mock Peace Day instead of support it. They fail to recognize the different benefits whether from an international level or a domestic one that this day brings. Not only does this day set a premises for a ceasefire in conflict zones that would result to lives being saved, but also shows the opposing parties a different angle to the situations. Peace day also helps raise awareness to people around the world, more specifically in developed nations of the importance of peace and how fortunate some nations are to have already attained it. Lastly peace day serves as a catalyst to acts of good.
Many opposing nations and forces have used Peace Day as a signal for a ceasefire. While those ceasefires are short-lived, they still offer the individuals who live in those conflict ridden places a chance to have a much needed stable and quiet day. Those ceasefires do not only offer security for people, but can also be the foundation of talks that could later yield to peace. Different world leaders have spoken out this year on the importance of respecting the ceasefire on his day and the positive affects it may have on people's lives. Furthermore many different peacekeeping mission choose to halt military operations in accordance with peace day which is also known as the "Day of Ceasefire". An example to the beneficial affect of a ceasefire can be seen in 2008 though the UN Department for Safety and Security which recorded a 70% reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan.
Another big benefit peace day brings is global awareness. Concerts around the world with take place sponsored by celebrities to help inform people of the importance of peace in the world. This awareness is especially important within countries and communities that are already fortunate enough to have attained peace, but might not realize and appreciate it. In 2008 in Paris a concert was held celebrating peace day that was later seen by an estimate of 250 million people. The fact that so many people came together to celebrate peace day through one event can already be seen as a plus to peace day. Additionally the notion that the whole world is celebrating the importance of peace on the same day creates a sense of unity on a global scale. Taking a look on a more personal scale, peace day helps individuals reflect on their role in making this world a better place.
Lastly peace day serves as a platform for many different acts of kindness by governments, organizations and individuals alike. Whether it's the World Food Programme's choice to drop aid in Southern Sudan last year, or UNICEF in collaboration with other government and organization's choice to help deworm and immunize children and distribute mosquito nets in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Peace day serves as the groundwork for many different acts that on this day all happen with the sole purpose of bringing peace in people's lives.
While the world has still a long road ahead in combating poverty and conflict, the induction and practice of a day of peace can only be a step forward. Between giving people a day off their usual violent filled routine lives or helping fortunate people understand what their brothers and sisters are going through in other countries, peace day has a purpose. As peace day grows, so should the different events that take place around the world increase. In my opinion there is still allot of improvement that could be made to the idea of peace day, putting a bigger emphasize on raising funds to give to poor nations then just simply an awareness day for the importance of peace.
Finally after two years of organizing, planning, and meetings, the official Peace Day stands at September 21. Jeremy Gilley organized a concert where many celebrities would sing and talk about this newly developed Peace Day. By doing so, many people would attend since it is a concert, the press would attend since celebrities are present, and Peace Day would be globally announced and publicized. September 21st 2002 is the start of a day that benefits all countries; developed and developing, in conflict or not, as it motivates them to see that achieving peace is possible. Not only does it help nations, but it benefits the people on the whole because since there is a day dedicated to it, people can look up to it and learn to use this new idea of peace with their family, people, and everyday life in general. Having a day of cease-fire saves lives, and gives hope for the future by showing that achieving peace is not impossible. Also, showing that if we are able to achieve it for 24 hours, maybe in the future, we can accomplish constant world peace. True, this is a small step to achieving world peace since it is only 24 hours, however, having 24 hours of cease-fire is better than nothing. Also, it motivates other inspired people to stand up for what they believe in and strive to make a difference just like Jeremy Gilley did; therefore he is a role model to others in the future. Even though he did not do this all alone as he had enormous help from his supporters he was the one who initiated the idea, so he takes most of the credit. After watching this movie I learned that anything is possible. This triggered something inside of me that allowed me to have hope for the future.
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