Happy International Day of Peace, everyone! In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly declared the third Tuesday of each September the International Day of Peace. This day is dedicated to “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples” and is observed by temporary ceasefire in combat zones by many states, political groups, military groups, and individuals. During these times of ceasefire, humanitarian aid is granted access into these zones.
The focus of this year’s observance is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.” Conflicts often arise around control of natural resources, and sustainable peace often relies on sustainable development and good management of natural resources. In this week’s Opportunity Spotlight, we’ll take a look at ways to get involved in peace and sustainable development.
- The Peace Corps was established by executive order in 1961 and authorized by Congress in an act that defines its purpose as: ”To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.“ Since then, over 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries. Skilled volunteers work with governments, schools, NGOs, and entrepreneurs in positions related to social and economic impact. They need thousands of volunteers every year, and this year’s application deadline is September 30th, so get started today!
- The Hunt Alternatives foundation has donated over $100 million toward sustainable development initiatives worldwide. They focus on advocacy for inclusive peace processes, fighting the illegal sex trade, inspiring women to political leadership, and supporting leaders of social movements among other more local initiatives. They’re currently seeking interns in Massachusetts and DC to work on event planning, post-conflict peace training, and coalition building.
- In response to Kofi Annan’s 2003 call for an international conference of organizations working on conflict prevention, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict was formed to “strengthen civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action; to establish effective engagement with governments, the UN system and regional organisations.” By connecting stakeholders at every level with policymakers and those often left out of policymaking, the organization seeks to gather input and build consensus and inclusion into conflict-prevention process. They’re looking for an intern in The Hague to assist with public outreach.
Across the world, organizations and individuals are looking at world peace not as a dream, but as an achievable goal. They’re organizing volunteers, funding and compiling research, influencing policymakers, and training stakeholders. World peace is a tall order, and there’s lots of work to be done.
How are you observing today’s International Day of Peace?