Conflict is man-made; therefore, man can unmake it and make peace instead.
The International Day of Peace (‘Peace Day’) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution 36/37, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”
Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.
Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.
This is the 2017 International Day of Peace theme, and is based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER brings together the organisations of the United Nations System, the 193 member countries of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants.
Peace is an interesting social concept. Simple in fact, in that it is the absence of conflict.
As a People and Culture Advisor, part of my role is to provide and support a peaceful working environment, managing any conflict that arises. Sounds odd hey, because the idea of conflict in the workplace – when it becomes destructive – is not acceptable. Conflict is not an acceptable medium to getting what you want – unless it’s dismissal.
So why is conflict more acceptable when it affects a more diverse audience? Why do we get to use conflict when it is in the name of religion, politics, race, gender, the economy, or any other social reason we use to divide us? When it’s really just for the pursuit, possession, and application of power. And the most affected by it, are the most vulnerable.
Fortunately, there are those working towards a better world. One of them is World Vision.
So how does World Vision Australia support this journey towards peace? Our work in Syria is a perfect example. More than 16 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance, including 4.8 million people who have been forced to flee their country to escape violence. More than half of those affected are children. Since conflict erupted in March 2011, a further 6.5 million people – more than one-third of Australia’s population – have been forced from their homes, but remain in Syria.
In 2016, World Vision’s Syria Response reached approximately 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children inside Syria and in the neighbouring countries that are hosting most Syrian refugees, including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. The assistance that World Vision Australia provides includes helping people access food, clean water, sanitation and hygiene services, shelter, and emergency supplies such as blankets and warm winter clothing. World Vision also provides safe spaces for children to learn, play, and receive other forms of support.
While millions around the world are displaced due to conflict, and are being refused entry and settlement into more stable environments, World Vision Australia directly promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. We support diversity and we do not discriminate.
If that’s not working towards peace, I don’t know what is.