09/21/2012 is International Day of Peace

Posted on September 21, 2012

1


Click here to read the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s message

With the recent violence and fatalities that have resulted from the conflict in Syria and the protests all over the world, I think that it is especially important to remind ourselves of what today is all about.

The United Nations announced that this year’s International Day of Peace theme is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.” This theme made me think about the children that are affected by the violence that surrounds them. In a previous post (Children + War = ?), I linked a booklet from the International Committee of the Red Cross about the effects of war on children. Children are forced to join armies, exploited, raped, mutilated, taken from their families, forced to flee as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDP), and killed.

I’ve been reading, hearing, and watching about the children affected by the Syrian conflict through UNICEF, World Food Programme (WFP) , other non-profit organizations, and news organizations. Thousands have fled the country and have lost their homes, family members, schools, and other vital aspects of their lives. UNICEF has been reaching out to people and organizations to support its programs that try to give the children refugees a sense of normalcy, such as continuing their education and providing them a safe community to play in and enjoy. I know that the WFP has been sending food to the refugees probably because their host countries just can’t provide its citizens and the refugees with enough resources due to the continually growing number of refugees.

Children are seriously affected by conflict. If peace is not sustained, these children might grow up to believe that conflict is normal and accepted. It becomes a cycle, and more children will lose their families and be victims of violence. Not only will there be emotional and mental damages, but their homes, communities, and countries will be physically damaged that it will take generations and billions to rebuild. Where do the children go then? How will they acquire the education that will make them understand hope and peace?

Peace has to be sustained to halt further damage and to give the citizens of the world a chance to rebuild homes and lives. It has to be sustained so that children will have futures that allow them to survive and thrive.

What do you think about this year’s theme?

Visit http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/ to learn more.

Thank a U.N. Peacekeeper! Visit http://www.betterworldcampaign.org/un-peacekeeping/get-involved/thank-un-peacekeeper.html and share with everyone you know.

Posted in: Conflict