INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
The International Day of Peace, September 21st, is observed “as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.” The United Nations invites all "to commemorate the International Day of Peace through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire.”
The long-term goal is to sow the seed of peace, to bring to life the United Nations Resolution on the Right of Peoples to Peace (A/RES/39/11): “ that the maintenance of a peaceful life for peoples is the sacred duty of each State” and “peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace.” The 65th Annual DPI/NGO Conference Declaration also “recognized that the Post-2015 Development Agenda will not be achieved unless the vision of a culture of peace is incorporated throughout the framework.”
THE WEEK OF DIALOGUE, September 15th-21st, is a platform for people and organizations to tell their stories of interconnectedness and demonstrate the power of working together. In its fifteenth year, The Week of Dialogue is a global celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace through local participation and collaboration, building a critical mass of positive energy and unity and facilitating a greater understanding and appreciation of peace.
The Week of Dialogue encourages the sharing of cultural values and traditions to address the immediate needs of communities, regions, or the world. Dialogues can take place during an afternoon, over a day, or during the entire week, need not be elaborate or formal, and can include art, music and food: the purpose is to bring people together to find common ground to work toward a more peaceful and cooperative future, with each participant knowingly playing a positive role in creating change. A global event based on local participation and collaboration, The Week of Dialogue closes with one minute of silence at 12:00 Noon (wherever you are) on September 21st.
A signature program of GFLP is the Buddhist Muslim Dialogue Series, with 14 Buddhist-Muslim Dialogues already having taken place in 11 countries. This year GFLP is planning a Buddhist Muslim Youth Dialogue to be held at United Nations Headquarters during The Week of Dialogue.
POETRY SLAM FOR PEACE
Poetry Slam for Peace empowers youth through the mastery of literacy and language – “If you don’t learn to write your own life story, someone else will write it for you”. Collaborating with Power Poetry (www.powerpoetry.org) Poetry Slam for Peace will connect with 250,000-300,000 young people from around the world, serving as a voice for young people, encompassing individual and poetic voices, in many instances using allusions to contemporary popular culture to provide a medium for crafting communication, venting emotion, and creating art. Its format of inclusiveness provides a constructive atmosphere of equality, sensitivity and progress, encouraging discussion, creativity, empowerment and alliance.
There will be competitions around the world, whose winners will be acknowledged online. The online audience will then choose finalists during the Week of Dialogue. It is a global event, extending awareness of The Week of Dialogue and the International Day of Peace throughout the year.
BELLA GAIA (www.bellagaia.com) is an immersive audio-visual presentation combining live music, dance and evocative imagery of the Earth seen from space. Kenji Williams, the founder and composer, was inspired to create Bella Gaia in conjunction with NASA to share an astronaut’s transformative experience seeing Earth from space. Bella Gaia employs NASA satellite imagery of Earth, time-lapse nature photography and cultural heritage scenes, stirring the imagination and encouraging audiences to connect with our planet.
More than 200 Bella Gaia performances have been seen in 10 countries, including at UNESCO headquarters and at the U.S. Department of State for President Obama's Cairo Initiative. Bella Gaia has won awards from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, The Sundance Film Festival and the Macau International Fulldome Film Festival. Bella Gaia will be presented in September 2015 in New York City during The Week of Dialogue, and the program will provide educational experiences throughout the week for young people, illuminating the connections between natural systems and human activities, and inspiring young people to act as stewards for our shared resources.
"I urge you to see the inspired and wonderful mosaic of photography, video, live dance and music from around the world that is Bella Gaia, a mesmerizing spectacle that should not be missed. Bella Gaia resonates with the audience intrinsically and creates a sense of interconnectedness that is difficult to capture in only one medium. This is environmental messaging done right; this is perhaps one way that we can capture a much larger audience." The Huffington Post
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP PEACE PROGRAM The Global Peace Leadership Program is a deep-level spiritual training to inspire visionary young adults who aspire to become engaged leaders in the promotion of a culture of peace. The world-renowned spiritual leader Dharma Master Hsin Tao will be joined by other leaders of diverse disciplines to provide practical training and leadership skills to 60 program fellows. The fellows will be selected for their demonstrated leadership qualities through their work in local communities and in areas of conflict. Special projects will be developed encompassing young adult peace education.
The Global Peace Leadership Program consists of four sequential training modules: 1) The Power of Change; 2) The Power of Now; 3) The Power of Impact; and 4) The Power of One, integrating learning and experiences to accelerate each participant’s presence as a global leader for the culture of peace.