The Peace Bell
About the Peace Bell
The Japanese Peace Bell is a United Nations peace symbol. It was presented to the United Nations in June 1954 by the United Nations Association of Japan, at a time when Japan had not yet been officially admitted to the United Nations.
Weighing 116 kg, with a height of 1 meter, and 0.6 meter in diameter at the base, the metal in the bell itself was obtained from coins collected by children from the delegates of 60 nations who were attending the 13th General Conference of United Nations Associations held in Paris, France in 1951.
The bell itself is housed in a typically Japanese structure, ressembling a Shinto shrine, made of cypress wood. Inscribed on one side of the bell are the Japanese characters that say: "Long live absolute world peace!".
Ringing the Peace Bell
On the International Day of Peace
In his report on the International Year of Peace (1987), the Secretary-General explained that the International Day of Peace was to be marked at United Nations Headquarters with a ceremony at the Peace Bell in which the Secretary-General would deliver a message, followed by a statement from the President of the Security Council.
The President of the General Assembly is also often involved in the ceremony. The commemoration includes other events, taking place around the Peace Bell and around the world, and involve students, musicians, NGOs representaives, etc.
On Other Occasions
- The Peace Bell is also rung on special occasions such as to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident on 26 April 2011.
- The General Assembly also invited the Secretary-General to ring the Peace Bell to launch the International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures in 2010.
- On the first day of spring 2004, the Global Teaching and Learning Project of the Department of Public Information implemented the "Peace Bell initiative", which involved hundreds of schools all over Europe.