International Day of Peace and Good Relations Week
September 21 marks the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, celebrated globally with a goal of strengthening peace and observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fires. More than simply laying down arms, the UN recognise that real peace requires the building of societies where all members feel they can flourish. A world where people are confident they will be treated equally regardless of their race or religion.
We live in a time of conflict, some close to home, some remote, populations are fleeing, landscapes are changing at pace, and the environment that supports us is at war with itself. As conflict erupts, it continues to impact certain racial groups more heavily. Whether through race-based discrimination at borders or the disproportionate conflict-based poverty and inequality that is familiar to certain communities, the problem is significant.
For International Day of Peace 2022, the UN have selected the theme of ‘End Racism. Build Peace’. The theme underlines the role we should all play in dismantling racism. In changing the structures that entrench racist behaviour, in speaking out against hate speech, and in promoting anti racism through education.
Appropriately, the International Day of Peace overlaps with Northern Irelands’ Good Relations Week. Good Relations Week provides an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of our culture and heritage, to promote cultural diversity and to tackle sectarianism and racism. The overlapping missions of International Day of Peace and Good Relations Week acts as a reminder for us. A reminder to respect each others differences, to educate ourselves on the reality of racism and conflict and to engage wherever possible in fostering peace at all levels.
This year’s Good Relations Week has the theme of ‘Change Starts With Us’ and ties into the UN’s focus on sustainable development goals. It highlights the political, social, economic, and environmental challenges our region faces. Events of the week are all tasked with inspiring peace and good community relations.
Our office will be involved in International Day of Peace by respecting a Minute of Silence/ Moment of Peace at 12 noon. We’ll also be investing ourselves in the events of Good Relations Week.