Celebrating UN International Day of Peace
"Shaping Peace Together" with Conscience
“The focus of this year’s International Day of Peace is ‘Shaping Peace Together.’ In that spirit, and to mark our 75th anniversary, the United Nations is bringing people together for a global conversation about shaping our future and forging peace in trying times,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, adding, “Together, I know we can - and will - build a more just, sustainable and equitable world.”
In support of this important day, the Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) hosted a virtual forum on September 21, 2020 to facilitate insightful exchanges of ideas and experiences about peace among world citizens. The keynote speakers included Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL; Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2006; Judge Duba Dukpa in Bhutan; Hugues Sanon, UN representative of COJEP International; Imam A. Siddique, Bollywood casting director and life coach in India; and Peter Jam, a Lebanese-Armenian peacebuilding artist. FOWPAL received congratulatory letters from influential leaders, including the president of Colombia, the prime minister of Denmark, the prime minister of New Zealand, the president of Ireland, the minister of justice of Zambia, the secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and US secretary of education. Other peace champions and attendees from all over the world also shared their thoughts in support of the day. The event received over 6,000 views.
Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, president of FOWPAL, delivered welcome remarks, stressing that "Conscience is the highest common code of conduct for mankind. It transcends the differences in skin color, gender, language, and belief and unites our hearts together. Only by awakening global citizens’ innate conscience and acting in accordance with conscience and wisdom can we solve endless global problems, save the wounded Earth, and create a world of peace and happiness." He also stated, "Let us unite our hearts, repair the world, and jointly stop acts of discrimination or hatred. Let us celebrate the International Day of Peace by passing on love and kindness and spreading positivity and infinite hope. Let us build a bridge of conscience and shape peace together."
Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate 2006, stated that the world is like a fast moving train heading for a disastrous end, and the pandemic has stopped the train, allowing us to redesign our thinking process and head for a new destination. He urged everyone to “create a world of three zeroes: zero net carbon emission, no global warming; zero unemployment, no artificial intelligence; zero wealth concentration so that the wealth can be shared by everybody.” He also pointed out: “There’s two common goals to discover ourselves as driven by self-interest as well as strongly as common interest.” “We need two kinds of businesses: one business of profit maximization and the business of social business, which doesn’t want any maximization of profit or any profit at all,” he added.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present,” said Duba Dukpa, a high court judge from Bhutan. “Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, towards creating a world that supports everyone.” He also pointed out that “Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of that candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.There is no enemy inside our soul. The real enemies live inside us in the form of – anger, ego, greed and hate,” he added.
Hugues Sanon, UN representative of COJEP International, stated, “We must continue to raise awareness of the dangers and costs of nuclear weapons and on why nuclear disarmament is so crucial. On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might.”
Imam A. Siddique, Bollywood casting director and life coach in India, shared a beautiful poem titled “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann: “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story . . .” He also urged everyone to make peace possible as it is essential to prosperity and happiness.
“Peace starts with you and me,” said Peter Jam, a Lebanese-Armenian peacebuilding artist, adding that “True peace is based on forgiveness, friendship, also understanding, and most importantly justice, which is based on moral and ethical values. He played the guitar and sang a song of hope dedicated to Beirut for the catastrophic explosion that took place last month. He reminded everyone that “The time is now for peace, true peace!”
Additionally, FOWPAL presented a new song titled “Wish” to wish humans and nature to be balanced once more and the world to recover from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also presented a puppet show titled “The Foundation of World Peace: Conscience” and encouraged people to endorse the Declaration of International Day of Conscience. (http://www.icday.org/declaration.html ) FOWPAL wishes to awaken more people’s conscience through the exchanges of ideas at the forum and the promotion of International Day of Conscience. It will continue to encourage global citizens to use the power of conscience and work together for a world of love and peace!