2 September 2008
Press Release
PI/1847

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION LAUNCHES TEXT-MESSAGING


CAMPAIGN TO MAKE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE MORE VISIBLE

 


A text-messaging-for-peace campaign was launched today at the United Nations to bring visibility to the International Day of Peace, on 21 September.


The United Nations General Assembly established the day in 1981 and set observance annually on 21 September of a “day of ceasefire and non-violence”.


In the United States, cellphone users are urged to compose a 160-character message on peace beginning with the word “PEACE” and sending the message to the number 69866.


The United Nations Department of Public Information will gather the messages, publish them on the website www.peaceday2008.org and deliver them to world leaders gathered for the General Assembly on 23 September.


United Nations offices and peacekeeping operations around the world and non-governmental organizations observe the Day of Peace each year.  Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will ring the Japanese Peace Bell at United Nations Headquarters on Friday, 19 September, at 9:30 a.m. along with United Nations Messengers of Peace, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall and Midori Goto.  He and the United Nations staff will observe a minute of silence at 12 noon.


Students from schools around New York will then engage in a video conference with students living in the Sudan, Afghanistan and Liberia.


“On 21 September, the International Day of Peace, I call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger, and for all human rights for all,” the Secretary-General said in a message issued on 29 August.  “Together, let us send a powerful signal for peace that will be read, heard and felt around the world.”


For more information, contact Melanie Nolte, United Nations Department of Public Information, e-mail:  nolte@un.org.  For background on the International Day of Peace, go to www.un.org/events/peaceday/2008.


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For information media • not an official record