UN Peace Day Promotes Respect & Acceptance of Refugees and Migrants – “TOGETHER!”

What is the International Day of Peace?*

Each year, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21st and is devoted to strengthening peace, both within and among nations and people. This year, the International Day of Peace will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants.

What is the theme for 2017?

The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety & Dignity for All.” The theme honors the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety, dignity, diversity, non-discrimination, and acceptance of refugees and migrants.

“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbors as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

How you can participate!

Volunteer to welcome and help migrants in your community or extend a hand of friendship to young refugees and migrants whom you might meet at school or in your neighborhood. Find out if an event for International Day of Peace is taking place in your community and attend the celebration. Go on social media using #peaceday and #jointogether. And, on September 15th, you can join students from around the world for a video conference – 9:30 am. – 12:30 p.m. EST/ 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. CST. Go to:  www.webtvun.org

Teaching Tools:

The United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) has launched new animated videos to help teach young people about tolerance, respect, and acceptance. One is the story of Ishak, a young Rohingya refugee from Myanmar who fled to Malaysia. With the assistance of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and support from his new community, Ishak was able to find acceptance and continue his education. He now dreams of becoming a football star. The video was produced by DPI’s Education Outreach Section in support of the Together Initiative.

Yusra Mardini is a young refugee from conflict-torn Syria who achieved her dream to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Yusra was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), on April 27, 2017. The video was produced by the Education Outreach Section in support of the Together Initiative.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!

*Reprinted from the International Day of Peace NGO Committee Newsletter for August 2017Go to the United Nations Peace Day website for complete information: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/index.shtml

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