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peaceEstablished by United Nations resolution in 1982, International Day of Peace is a global holiday when individuals, communities, nations, and governments highlight efforts to end conflict and promote peace. The General Assembly declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

To inaugurate the day, the “Peace Bell” is rung at U.N. headquarters. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents, as a reminder of the human cost of war.

The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations in 2015. The 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years.

Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict.

How to celebrate International Day of Peace

According to Janice Williams of the International Business Times, “There are plenty of ways to promote peace to recognize the global holiday… many places around the globe are offering fun and inspiring ways to spread non-violence. There’s even a Peace Day Global Broadcast streaming online all day to give people a look at how others are celebrating throughout the world. Check out an events list here to see what events are offered in your area.”

For kids and teachers, there are hundreds of crafts, projects, and prompts available. For a wide range of ideas and printables for kids of all ages, visit Activity Village.

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