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End racism. Build peace.

Today is the International Day of Peace.

In 1981, the UN General Assembly announced that every year the 21st September would be a day to acknowledge and commit to the principles and standards of peace. 

So what does this mean? Firstly, the International Day of Peace is designated as a day for 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. But peace must mean more than this. 

True peace can only be achieved through establishing societies where people are considered equal regardless of race or ethnicity. This year’s theme for International Day of Peace is “End racism. Build peace”, aiming to promote acceptance and respect in communities so that every person has the opportunity to thrive

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres has said:

“Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.”

Racism continues around the world and in our own communities: from the ongoing plight of refugees seeking asylum to the increased impact of COVID on particular racial groups around the world, and now with perpetuating global economic turmoil, racial minorities are being targeted by hate speech and violence.

Of course, it is important to pursue the ideals of peace every day of every year. What should that look like?

Each one of us can make conscious decisions to foster peace by the way we act and speak. Addressing racism in ourselves and in others is confronting. However, respectful conversations can go a long way in helping to change mindsets and consequently, behaviour. 

Together we can work to challenge entrenched racism in our midst: supporting movements for equality and human rights, speaking out against hate speech—online and offline—and promoting anti-racism through education.

On this 2022 International Day of Peace, be motivated to join Glimmer in supporting the efforts of the United Nations. Together we can work towards a world where compassion, respect and empathy replace racism and hatred. 

If we work together, we still have a glimmer of hope for a world of peace.

Sources: International Day of Peace 21 September. https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace

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