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Peace One Day's Jeremy Gilley on Global Truce 2012

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PEACE ONE DAY
Peace One Day

This whole journey began with such a simple idea: a day of peace. We all want a world without war, without conflict, without human suffering.

A single day is a window of opportunity.

On 21 September this year, Peace Day 2011, we begin the countdown towards Global Truce - the biggest call for peace the world has ever seen.

It's the community's legacy, not mine. What we want to tell individuals is that the power to change the world lies in their hands - I don't believe in cynicism, in apathy; it doesn't get you anywhere - cynicism kills potential and possibility. And if we're not fighting for a better world, what's the point?

When I was younger, I read a book by Frank Barnaby, this wonderful nuclear physicist - he said that media had a responsibility, that all sectors of society had a responsibility to try and progress things and move things forward. And that fascinated me, because I'd been messing around with a camera most of my life.

I was concerned about what was going on in the world. I couldn't understand the starvation, the destruction, the killing of innocent people. And then I thought, well maybe I could do something. Maybe I could become a filmmaker. Maybe I can use the form of film constructively.

I thought I could go and film older and wiser people who would tell me how they made sense of what was going on around the world. But I realised that a series of sound bites in itself wasn't enough, that there needed to be a mountain to climb, there needed to be a journey that I had to take. And if I took that journey, it would be completely irrelevant whether it failed or succeeded.

The point is that there would be a hook: is the destruction of the world inevitable? Is humankind fundamentally evil? As we become a global community, have we become indifferent to one another?

When it comes to the fundamental issues that humanity faces, I think that solutions involve shifting consciousness towards cooperation. A single day is an achievable starting point. Making that starting point a self-sustaining, institutionalised celebration is what we work towards at Peace One Day.

Each year, 21 September marks Peace Day; a day for wide-scale community action, and a day for UN agencies and aid organisations to safely carry out life-saving work. By 2007, 100 million people had been active on Peace Day (source UNDPI) and since then, Peace Day agreements by all parties to conflict in Afghanistan have resulted in the immunisation 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% reduction in violent incidents in Afghanistan.

For Peace Day 2012, we are inviting all sectors of society to observe a day of Global Truce - individuals in every country, at home, in schools, in the workplace, in our local communities, and those engaged in armed conflict on the international stage. Everyone has a role to play. We want Global Truce 2012 to be the largest reduction in global violence in recorded history, both domestically and internationally.

The Global Truce 2012 campaign will only work if the people get behind it - if you get behind it. Please join the campaign via www.peaceoneday.org and ask as many people as you can to do the same, via social media or via the new free Peace One Day App.

Individuals can make a difference. By working together there will be Peace One Day.

In peace,

Jeremy Gilley

Founder of Peace One Day