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Day of Peace in St. Lucia

UPF worked with UNESCO schools in St. Lucia to celebrate the International Day of Peace in 2008; 11 primary and 18 secondary schools participated. A peace message by St. Lucia National Commission for UNESCO Coordinator, Mrs. Cynthia Joseph, was distributed to the schools and published in newspapers. The event was coordinated by UPF, in partnership with UNESCO.

Since the 21st of September was a Sunday this year and all schools are closed on Sunday, Mrs. Joseph sent a message to each school principal with instructions to read it at the Friday morning general assembly and to follow up with discussions in the classes in order to enable the students to become more aware of the International Day of Peace.

Here is the message that was sent to inspire all St. Lucians, encouraging their supportive efforts on this International Day of Peace.

Sunday, September 21, 2008—International Day of Peace

The 21st of September, every year, is declared International Day of Peace by the UN.

In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly resolution (A/Res/55/282) was unanimously adopted by UN member states (including St. Lucia), formally establishing an annual day of global ceasefire and nonviolence on the International Day of Peace, fixed on September 21.

This year, civil society organizations [NGOs] have been invited by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to play a significant role in creating a global movement for peace in 2008. In the words of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Let us promise to make peace not just a priority but a passion. Let us pledge to do more, wherever we are, in whatever way we can to make every day a day of peace."

The UN has a website on the Day of Peace: www.internationaldayofpeace.org

We often think that bringing peace is the affair of international organizations. Or we think this is the business of the government, but peace starts in my community, in my family and in me. As the song rightly put it, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Whatever our color, our race or our religious denomination, we are one human family, we are One Family Under God. The family is where you find the most intimate relationships. Isn’t it interesting that when we want to talk of a good friend, we say “he is like my brother”! This means he is as intimate as my brother. For a woman friend we would say: “she is like my sister” or “she is like my mother.”

This reminds me of the answer that Mother Teresa gave after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. She was asked by some journalists, “What can we do to promote world peace?” They were all expecting big intellectual explanations, but she simply answered with a big smile, “Go home and love your family!”

Let’s celebrate this United Nations International Day of Peace by making an effort to love our family, our neighbors, and our community.

On Sunday, September 21st, husbands must be better husbands; wives must be better wives; parents must be better parents; children must be better children.

On that day, let each St. Lucian make an extra effort to care for others and St. Lucia will be a better place.

To read UPF's Peace Declaration and reports of observances in other nations, click here.

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