HARRISBURG, September 20, 2011— State Senator Larry Farnese (D-Phila.) today offered a state Senate resolution recognizing September 21 as the United Nations’ “International Day of Peace.”

“The International Day of Peace is a day for non-violence and strengthening of the ideal of peace,” Farnese said on the Senate floor.  “This day provides the world with a 24 hour window to cease conflicts and hostilities and allow for acts of peace and humanitarianism all across the globe – especially in war torn areas.

“On this 30th anniversary of Peace Day, themed ‘Let Your Voice Be Heard,’ it is my hope that we all open our voices for the oppressed, the downtrodden and the victimized all around the globe to let them know that we support the peaceful resolution of conflicts  – without violence and without loss of life.”

In 1981, the United Nations established International Day of Peace devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples.  In 2001, the United Nations unanimously established the United Nations’ International Day of Peace as September 21 to be observed each year in promotion of a global cease-fire and non-violence.

“Peace Day,” as it is known in the United States, has been a day instrumental to hostility cessation, public awareness and providing a platform for non-violent activities worldwide, including peace walks, concerts, art exhibitions, school assemblies, peace-building programs, environmental activities, memorial services and vaccination campaigns.

Farnese said the Philadelphia region will be joining the global observance of Peace Day on September 21 with the first ever region-wide Peace Day observance involving over 35 organizations.

“I am pleased to announce the extensive list of events being offered in Philadelphia as a part of its Peace Day celebrations,” Farnese said.  “I encourage all Philadelphians to come out and support these events and all Pennsylvanians to actively participate in Peace Day activities in your area, or simply take the time to put aside your conflicts and reflect on what global peace can accomplish.”

“Peace Day – Philly 2011,” an initiative of volunteers in affiliation with the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Alliance for a Sustainable Future, has partnered with non-profit and non-governmental organizations to offer free programs.  The following are some of the events that will be held in Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on September 21:

  • An international student video conference with university students from Philadelphia, Norway and Egypt discussing multiculturalism, cultural tolerance and their role in developing a culture of peace in modern society.  Partner: Global Education Motivators.
  • Two “Peace Talks” on topics of creative community building and moving beyond nuclear/arms proliferation. Partner: Drexel University’s Office of International Programs; Program Sponsor: The Project for Nuclear Awareness.
  • “Bridges to Peace” music and dialogue program with world-class musicians from Intercultural Journeys, exploring the role of music in creating bridges to connection and understanding. Partner: Intercultural Journeys; Program Sponsor: Ethical Society of Philadelphia.

Farnese added that schools, groups and organizations across the region will also be facilitating a wide variety of peace actions, including: creative activities at Philadelphia public schools and after-school programs of the Free Library of Philadelphia (LEAP Program), “One Day One Goal” soccer games for unity, meditation activities, peace-based academic and lunchtime discussions and a range of non-violence activities.  For a full schedule of Peace Day activities in Philadelphia, please visit http://www.una-gp.org/peacedayphilly2011.htm.

“William Penn founded Pennsylvania on the principle of brotherly love, peace and equality,” Farnese said.  “The very basis of our rights in this country was given birth here.  Yet today, we see violence, war and inequality everywhere we turn, both here at home and elsewhere around the world. It is time to set aside violence and conflict and look toward a future of equality and peace.”

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