3 November 2009
General Assembly

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

United Nations Peacebuilding Fund Will Benefit from Proceeds of Fortieth

Anniversary Digital Recording of Anthem, ‘Give Peace a Chance’

NEW YORK, 3 November (Peacebuilding Support Office) -- To celebrate the unifying spirit and fortieth anniversary of the Plastic Ono Band’s universal anthem, “Give Peace a Chance”, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Julian Lennon have partnered with EMI Music and Sony/ATV Music Publishing to donate net proceeds from the sale of a commemorative fortieth anniversary digital single to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.  Beginning today, iTunes will exclusively offer the single’s special anniversary edition for download purchase, with net proceeds benefiting the Peacebuilding Fund through 31 December.

Says Yoko Ono: “I am thrilled that so many in the music business are readily supporting ‘Give Peace a Chance’ on its fortieth anniversary.  It is indeed a time when we are all getting more aware of the necessity of doing something to achieve world peace, no matter how small.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I feel deeply that we are all one, regardless of where we stand.”

“I am delighted to see that a song so closely identified with the pursuit of peace, will shine a light on the United Nations peacebuilding efforts and financially support [Peacebuilding Fund] projects,” the Chairperson of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile said.

Written during John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 honeymoon bed-in protest against the Vietnam War, “Give Peace a Chance” was inspired by Lennon’s off-the-cuff explanation to a visiting reporter of the couple’s purpose for protesting the war by remaining in their honeymoon bed.  From 25 March to 31 March, the newlyweds invited the world’s media to visit and interview them daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. in their bed at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

The song was recorded live on 1 June 1969 in a room at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, with several well-known friends joining Lennon and Ono to sing the chorus.  Since the single’s original release on 4 July 1969, it has been the world’s foremost anthem for peace, beginning most notably with the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam’s massive protest in Washington, D.C., on 15 November 1969, where more than 500,000 people gathered and sang “Give Peace a Chance”.

About United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture

The Peacebuilding Commission (www.un.org/peace/peacebuilding) and the Peacebuilding Fund (www.unpbf.org) were established after the 2005 World Summit to create mechanisms to assist national authorities in post-conflict countries build sustainable peace.

The Peacebuilding Commission is an intergovernmental body that brings together relevant actors, including donors, Member States, international financial institutions (such as the World Bank) and national Governments.  By creating this broad platform, the Peacebuilding Commission plays a key role in ensuring that the international community can assist countries emerging from conflict to achieve sustainable peace in a coordinated manner.

The Peacebuilding Fund supports programmes and projects that prevent countries from relapsing into violence through fast, relevant and catalytic funding.  It currently supports 100 initiatives in 14 countries and relies on voluntary funding.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Ballantyne – EMI Music North America, +1 323 871 5494, jennifer.ballantyne@emicap.com.

Jimmy Asci – Sony/ATV Music Publishing +1 212 833 4513, jimmy.asci@sonyatv.com.

Allison Cooper – United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, +1 212 963 2073, coopera@un.org.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record