Jeremy Gilley

Countdown to World Peace Day

I am in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with Peace One Day Ambassador Jude Law to open the London 2012 Festival with a major Peace One Day concert. This event marks the start of a 12-week-long celebration for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, featuring leading artists from the UK and around the world.

June 21 also marks the three-month countdown to Peace Day on Sept. 21, 2012, when we hope to see the largest global reduction of violence ever recorded on one day – the Global Truce 2012 campaign. We believe this will be the largest-ever gathering of individuals in the name of peace.

The Global Truce 2012 campaign is a result of incredible Peace Day successes over the years, most notably in Afghanistan, where since 2007, Peace Day agreements by all parties to conflict in the region have resulted in the immunization against polio of 4.5 million children in areas hitherto unreachable or hard to reach due to conflict. On Peace Day 2008, the UN Department for Safety and Security recorded a 70 percent reduction in violent incidents in the country. It was this achievement that inspired me to launch a campaign to try to create a reduction of violence globally on Peace Day 2012. Peace Day is more than just symbolic and has already been proven as an annual opportunity for organizations to focus their ongoing work, including life-saving activities, within a global context.

We are incredibly proud to be working with TechnoServe, which has been supporting the Global Truce 2012 campaign since its launch on Peace Day 2011. In May, I was delighted to visit the TechnoServe headquarters in Washington, D.C., to meet the team and talk about the campaign, their work with people in poverty around the world and what we can do together for Peace Day 2012 and beyond.

It was so interesting to see Peace Day from another perspective and learn more about TechnoServe’s message that “peace pays.” TechnoServe’s work with enterprising people in the developing world helps create jobs and income for poor people by turning their business visions into reality. Working in communities that have suffered from violence and war, TechnoServe recognizes that peace and prosperity go hand in hand.

That’s why on Peace Day, the only day of ceasefire and non-violence our world has, we need to empower individuals to make a difference. To achieve change, action starts with the individual.

It doesn’t matter if your motivation is that Peace Day pays. The outcome is still peace.

Peace is about more than just ending armed conflict; it’s about the violence in our homes, schools and communities. For Peace Day to work, all sectors of society must be represented. That’s why we’ve started by bringing together a series of global coalitions: students; organizations committed to reducing domestic violence; and non-governmental organizations. I’m so grateful to organizations like TechnoServe that are inspiring people around the world to get involved in the process of creating the largest reduction of violence on one day – September 21, Peace Day – what we hope will be a world record.

Peace Day is everyone’s legacy. And if it isn’t everyone’s, it’s not going to work.

To find out more and become a member of the Global Truce 2012 movement, please visit the Global Truce page on the Peace One Day website at:

We look forward to welcoming you to Global Truce 2012.