We must add our voices to the call for peace

Unilever is asking everyone, everywhere to help spread the message of Peace Day – on 21 September – an annual day of ceasefire and non-violence.

The future of our planet

In an increasingly volatile and uncertain world – with conflicts such as Syria causing unimaginable suffering and upheaval – the call for peace, in our lifetime, has never been stronger. We need peaceful societies to create a more sustainable future for people and businesses alike. It is essential to help us fulfil our Sustainable Living Plan ambitions and for the world to realise the UN’s Global Goals, which aim to ensure the health, safety and future of our planet.

That’s why Unilever is asking everyone, everywhere to support Peace Day on 21 September. This annual day of ceasefire and non-violence addresses both armed conflict and the violence that takes place in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. The UN has declared this as a day every year devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

Aim is to reach 3 billion people

Peace Day was set up in 1999 by the non-profit organisation, Peace One Day and unanimously adopted by UN member states in 2001. It took another six years to show that the day could work by stopping the fighting in Afghanistan. As a result of that ceasefire, 10,000 health workers were able to vaccinate millions of children against polio. Also on the day, the UN recorded a 70% reduction in violent incidents. This demonstrated that the day was far from just symbolic and was effective in a place where many thought it was impossible.

Last year, over 1 billion people were exposed to Peace Day messages, with an estimated 10 million behaving more peacefully on the day as a result. The current aim is to reach 3 billion people with the Peace Day message by 21 September 2016.

Paul Polman says: “Peace and stability are the building blocks of a fair and flourishing society. Peace One Day offers the chance to focus efforts away from violence and conflict and towards essential areas like education, health care and the environment. It is incredible what can be achieved when weapons are put down for one day. I’m delighted that Unilever is supporting Peace One Day through its corporate coalition and hope that other businesses will do the same.”

It is now Peace One Day’s objective to institutionalise Peace Day, 21 September around the world.

You can pledge your support online. By signing up, a Peace Day message will be sent from your account on 21 September, alongside hundreds of other users, magnifying the impact of the day.

You can also help raise awareness by sharing the Peace Anthem ‘ONE’ with your networks. This beautiful song – written and performed by top African artists from across the continent – is available for download on all major platforms and all proceeds will go to Peace One Day.

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