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International Day of Peace, 21 September 2012
Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future

The Peace Bell

About the Peace Bell

Japanese Peace Bell The Japanese Peace Bell, located in the area north of the Secretariat Building at United Nations Headquarters. Credit: UN Photo

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.

Japanese Peace Bell being movedOn 28 May 2009, construction workers relocated the Japanese Peace Bell and its canopy from its location near the Secretariat building to the Rose Garden of the United Nations grounds in preparation of the implementation of the Capital Master Plan (CMP). Credit: UN Photo/Mark Garten

On Other Occasions

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