International Day of Peace: Celebrate Peace Day 2010!
Quezon City, Philippines–Generation Peace Youth Network spearheaded the 2010 Peace Day celebration with a community spirit. The community event consisted of a mélange of international organizations, NGOs, youth organizations, urban and rural community members, schools, religious organizations, government agencies, parliamentarians and prominent peace advocates.
The public event kicked off with a ribbon untying ceremony with the Vice Mayor of Quezon City and the Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process. This is followed by interfaith prayers from Muslim, Christian, Ba’hai, Indigenous traditions, Buddhist, and other world religions.
Representatives of war evacuees of Mindanao also flew to Manila to tell their stories to the youth. Solidarity messages from a parliamentarian, NGOs, youth leaders, the Muslim community, Christian associations, Indigenous peoples, and the UNDP and UNV were delivered during the event.
Cultural presentations, reading of peace poetry, musical numbers, a theatrical number, a symphonic band, a nose-flute instrumental music, and indigenous guitar jamming sessions were some of the highlights of the Peace Day themed: “Sustaining the Youth Engagement, Bridging the Peacebuilding Gaps.”
Exhibit booths showcased different advocacies and ways for youth to participate in them. Some booths sold shirts for causes such as interfaith dialogue, international humanitarian law, and youth involvement in peacebuilding.
The closing ritual involved the entire community where peace messages were written by everyone and pinned to a peace mural. The different peoples involved in the event pinned colored flowersand formed a peace dove and the peace sign.
September 21 is the UN-declared International Day of Peace. In the Philippines September 21, 1972 is also the day that Presidential Decree 1081 or more popularly known as Martial Law is declared in the country. It is with these two historic events in mind that we celebrate and critically collaborate for peace.
GenPeace also addressed government leaders during the opening of the peace month on September 1 by sharing the importance of youth in peacebuilding and in finding lasting solutions to the armed conflict in the country. GenPeace also promotes peace through numerous workshops and forums around the country before and after the International Day of Peace Celebration. Some highlights of the youth projects on peace are found at http://genpeace.tk/