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International Day of Peace 2022: What Is the UN's Day of Peace and How You Can Participate

This year's theme is "End racism. Build peace." Here's how you can commemorate the day.

man speaking at Peace Bell
International Day of Peace is Sept. 21.
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

Ring! Ring! 

Can you hear it? The Peace Bell rings today in celebration of the International Day of Peace. The bell, donated by the United Nations Association of Japan in 1954, rings twice a year on Sept. 21 -- the International Day of Peace -- as a declaration of peace.

International Day of Peace was started in 1981 by a UN resolution to encourage "all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace." Twenty years later, the General Assembly unanimously deemed this day a 24-hour period of cease-fire and non-violence in an effort to promote unity and peace. 

Here's everything you need to know about the International Day of Peace. For more ways to get involved, check out ways to advocate for peace in your community and help those in need.

The significance of the Peace Bell

The Peace Bell was birthed out of one man's vision. Former counselor of the United Nations Association of Japan, Chiyoji Nakagawa, suggested a Peace Bell be built as a symbol to all of hope and peace. Donations from representatives of the member states, the Pope and many others who believed in Nakagawa's idea gave coins and medals to create the Peace Bell. 

the earth shaped as a heart

The Peace Bell is a symbol to all of hope and peace.

DKosig/ Gettys Images

What is the theme of this year's Peace Day?

The UN names a theme for each year's Day of Peace. This year, it's "End racism. Build peace." The theme is intended to encourage unity and peace. From wars and natural disasters to social injustices and diseases, many factors can influence the dissonance and discord seen in everyday life. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message that all have a responsibility to contribute to tranquility and unity for a better world for all. 

"Racism robs people of their rights and dignity. It inflames inequalities and mistrust. And it pushes people apart, at a time when we should be coming together, as one human family, to repair our fractured world," he said.

How to observe the International Day of Peace

Originally, the Peace Wave movement was the first global initiative to have a unified moment of silence worldwide, occurring on Sept. 21, 1982.

gettyimages-489455778.jpg

Domestic and foreign students hold flags of the UN member states during the International Day of Peace ceremony. 

Albin Lohr-Jones/Getty Images

Whether you want to commemorate the day publicly or privately, there are meaningful ways for you to play a role in this global movement. Here are some ways for you to get involved on Peace Day:

  • Moment of silence 
  • Yoga
  • Vigils
  • Peace polls
  • Support your community and others by gathering around a meal
  • Be kind to others and yourself