Sunday, September 21, 2008
Standing up for peace...
On this International Day of Peace, September 21, Malaysia has pledged to make it an annual celebration.
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak says September 21 is a significant international day as it was chosen by the United Nations (UN) as a day of ceasefire and to stop all forms of violence throughout the world.
By creating the International Day of Peace (Peace Day), the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal.
The ‘Peace Bell’ is rung at the UN Headquarters to celebrate the day. An inscription on the side of the bell reads: "Long live absolute world peace."
But it's so ironic that it was only yesterday that at least 60 people were killed when an explosives-laden truck exploded at Islamabad's Marriott Hotel in the latest incident of violence.
"Malaysia condemns all forms of violence, aggression and foreign interference in the domestic affairs of another country," said Najib in his speech read out by Deputy Defence Minister Abu Seman Yusop at the Walk for Peace event in Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.
Participants at the event observed a minute of silence at 12pm sharp as a remembrance for those who had fought in wars.
Every country in the world celebrates the day in their own manner.
The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982 when the United Nations General Assembly declared the third Tuesday of September as the International Day of Peace to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace.
In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace.
During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution in 1981 that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."
Malaysia has submitted to UN calls to send troops for peacekeeping operations to countries that were having conflicts in the past 35 years.
"We begin with dispatching troops to Congo and followed by Namibia, Cambodia, Somalia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Western Sahara and Timor Leste. At present a Malaysian contingent is serving in Lebanon at the request of the UN," said Najib.
Let’s give peace a chance!
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