World Scouting celebrates ‘International Day of Peace 2012’
21st Sep 2012
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September each year. In the context of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that took place in June this year, the UN General Assembly declared that the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is ‘Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future’. With the Vision of WOSM clearly giving the direction for ‘Creating a Better World’, World Scouting has always thrived to contribute to peaceful coexistence. More than ever before, World Scouting is now having extensive focus on peace education and peace building through a flagship initiative of WOSM, the ‘Messengers of Peace’.
Peace education and peace building have received a new boost in World Scouting since 2011, when the Messengers of Peace (MoP) initiative was launched. The initiative has two components, the MoP Support Fund and the MoP Global Network. Through the Support Fund, MoP offers support and resources especially for those National Scout Organizations of WOSM in need of such support to help start projects and initiatives for their Scouts to be engaged in peace building. The Global Network of MoP aims to reach out to 20 million Scouts coming from all corners of the world to gather through Internet communities and to inspire each other to engage in small actions of social services and peace building in their local communities, as individuals and in small local groups. Members of the Network subsequently share each of these achievements on the Internet, thereby continuing to inspire others and creating a ripple effect.
In these initiatives by World Scouting, peace is defined in broad terms, not just from the perspective of the absence of war, but more so to have a strong, cohesive society, working together for what they see as best for their future to co-exist peacefully. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General and a former Scout, in his message on the International Day of Peace 2012 has said, ‘Natural resources must be used for the benefit of society and not to finance wars. Let us all work together for a safe, just and prosperous future for all.’
This year, the Messengers of Peace has initiated an ‘International Peace Day Scout Challenge’, inviting Scouts from around the world to answer the two questions: ‘The future I want is…’ and ‘I am a Messenger of Peace because…’ Scouts and Leaders of all ages are invited to visit the Facebook page of the ‘International Peace Day Scout Challenge’ to leave their messages and inspire other Scouts to do so.