International Day of Peace

September 21 is the International Day of Peace.  This story was submitted by Dr Kwame Acquaah for publication this week.

Rotary and the International Day of Peace- September 21

 
Peace is the foundation and the driving force behind Rotary International and we are fortunate to be participants in this noble objective. Rotary International and the United Nations joined forces decades ago to build peace around the world. The International Day of Peace is one of the outcomes of this relationship.
 
Delegations of Rotarians helped draft the UN Charter in San Francisco in 1945.  Nearly 50 of the 800 delegates representing their governments at the San Francisco Conference to draft the UN Charter were also members of Rotary. The role of Rotary clubs in promoting understanding among nations, providing a platform for dialogue, and creating positive change in communities around the world provided valuable support for the newly established United Nations. 
 
Rotary’s top leadership was among the 23 official observers – 11 to the US delegation alone. Rotary was the largest accredited observer group. Of the 50 nations present, 27 delegates or technical advisors were Rotarians and 5 were delegation heads. With other non-governmental organizations, Rotary influenced the text and focus of the UN charter, particularly on economic, social and humanitarian issues.
 
In 1985, Rotary launch a campaign to eradicate polio and facilitated a partnership with the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Since then, a network of Rotary representatives has been strengthening ties with the UN, its specialized agencies, and other international organizations like the League of Arab States and the European Union. These connections have enhanced Rotary's global visibility and resource network.
 
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, United Nations member states agreed to eight goals to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for people worldwide (eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development). These goals parallel Rotary's “Six Areas of Focus” (promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies).
 
Through their shared history, Rotary and the United Nations continue to work together toward world understanding and peace.
Let’s endeavor to make Peace a reality in our own backyard, our nation, and the around the world. Go out on September 21 and show a random act of kindness to someone!
 
Happy Peace Day!
Peace Committee: Dr. Kwame Acquaah, Lynette Andersen Esq., Father Ray Hess, Jeannine Sparks.