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Peace rang out on the morning of Friday, September 21st as the ceremonial ringing of the Peace Bell by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser marked the beginning of the International Day of Peace. This year’s theme was, “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.”
Although the Day of Peace was celebrated on the 21st, the tone of peace was present long prior. At the United Nations High Level Forum on The Culture of Peace the previous Friday, Ban Ki-moon spoke on the necessity of a culture of peace. Although he has made disarmament a UN priority, Mr. Ban summarized the solution to the riddle of world peace in one word: education. He stressed that preventing war and violence requires more than just cooling tensions; we must promote an understanding of our common humanity and human dignity.
This central theme was echoed and expounded upon by Swami Mukundananda on September 12 at a presentation held by UN SRC SEAT entitled, “World Peace through Peaceful Pieces.” Through an artfully woven combination of history, fable, philosophy, and modern reality Swamiji presented the point that for there to be peace within the globe there must be piece within nations, communities, families, relationships, and individuals. Because the world is not a homogenous whole, but a mosaic influenced by the shape and color of each piece, we can only have a peaceful whole by having peaceful pieces. It is then the responsibility of each of us to ask ourselves, “What piece do I want to be?”