The promotion of peace is one of the main purposes of the United Nations and so back in 1981 it declared 21 September as the International Day of Peace. This day is meant to encourage people to build a culture of peace, and the UN says that we, the public, should be right at the forefront of the celebrations:
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defence of peace must be constructed, that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of Governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.”
People across the world celebrate in ways that are unique to them, whether it is personal or political, and to their community. In the last few years, there have been events like peace protests, art exhibitions, tree planting and even picnics!
How are we celebrating?
The theme to this year’s International Day of Peace at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals aim to end all injustices and build a society that focuses on the “people, planet and prosperity.” With the targets ranging from reducing poverty to ensuring quality education, we have compiled a short list of interviews from our citizen historians to celebrate the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and share some of our favourite sustainable development stories.
1. Ensure Quality Education: I want to become a doctor to heal Nepal
Shree Krishna, a 16 year-old student living in a village outside Kathmandu, talks about how the lack of medical resources in his country motivates him to become a doctor.
Storyteller: Shree Krishna
Date of Story: 24 November, 2015
Location of Story: Jitpur Phedi, Nepal
Location: Jitpur Phedi, Nepal
Date: 24 November, 2015
2. Gender Equality: A self-made 19th century Irish woman
Author Susan Matoff discusses the extraordinary life of Marguerite Gardiner, who became the Countess of Blessington and an influential literary figure despite a series of unfortunate events and systematic discrimination by her peers.
Storyteller: Susan Matoff
Date of Story: 1788-1849
Location of Story: lonmel, Ireland; London, U.K., Naples, Italy;
Location: Bushey Heath, UK
Date: 22 March, 2016
3. Eliminate Racism and Xenophobia: Regardless of religion, we were all Ukrainian
Ukrainian Prof. Oleh Turij talks about the experiences of his grandmother during World War II, including her relationship with a poor Jewish community that asked her family to take in one of their children as war broke out. He also talks about the importance of looking at oral history, even though not all details may be clear.
Storyteller: Prof. Oleh Turij
Date of Story: 1930s-early 1940s
Location of Story: Bukachivtsi, Soviet Ukraine
Location: Vienna, Austria
Date: 6 June, 2016
4. Sustainable and Clean Energy for All: The human cost of the fuel crisis
Eva Wieners describes one of the tragic consequences of the catastrophic fuel crisis that paralyzed Nepal in the wake of the April 2015 earthquake. Since fuel was scarce, buses ran less frequently and became overcrowded, leading to a surge in traffic accident deaths.
Storyteller: Eva Wieners
Date of Story: September 2015
Location of Story: Nepal
Location: Münster, Germany
Date: 17 February, 2016
5. Reduce Income Inequality among Countries: The promise and the reality of the Euro
Businesswoman Sara Carrer explains the effects of the introduction of the Euro in Italy.
Storyteller: Sara Carrer
Date of Story: 2002
Location of Story: Jesolo, Italy
Location: Bruxelles, Belgium
Date: 26 February, 2016