The CommUNAcator

Greater Lansing United Nations Association
"Your Connection to the United Nations"

September, 2016


PEACE QUEST 2016

By Lynn Bartley

PEACE QUEST 2016 IS ALMOST HERE--and WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL JOIN US! GL-UNA has partnered with Peace Education Center and several other organizations to plan PEACE QUEST 2016 in celebration of the UN-designated International Day of Peace. Please join us from September 16 to 25 for a wide array of peace-related activities to be held at various locations in the greater Lansing area. Events and activities will focus on ways to build peace in our world and in our communities, resolve conflicts, learn about other faiths and cultures, promote mutual understanding--and to have fun! See the full schedule of events here. 

Note that the "PEACE QUEST Day of Action" on Sunday, September 18 at 3p.m. is for all ages and will include our accessible "peace walk," great music, refreshments, face painting, information tables, voter registration, and much more. All FREE! Bring your friends and family!

Please take time to learn more about our PEACE QUEST partners in the short informational pieces below. We also are very grateful for our sponsors--businesses and organizations which have provided cash or in-kind donations of at least $100 to make PEACE QUEST 2016 possible. A note of thanks also to those organizations and individuals who have made contributions. Every donation, large or small, is appreciated. If you are interested in helping make Peace Quest possible, you can donate on-line here or by sending a check or money order made payable to GL-UNA, PO Box 283, DeWitt, MI 48820. Thank you!

There are other ways for you to be involved. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks for the PEACE QUEST 2016 Day of Action on September 18. Learn more here. Please plan to participate in as many of the planned activities as you like. Almost all of them are FREE.

Thank you for your interest in and support for PEACE QUEST 2016!

PEACE QUEST 2016 Planning Team Partners

Peace Education Center believes that all life has value. It works to promote compassion and awareness of the potential for interdependence and lasting peace while striving for nonviolent solutions to world, social, and local conflicts.

Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, an affiliate of the national nonprofit organization STATES UNITED TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE, is dedicated to increasing public awareness of existing gun laws and advocating for new legislation aimed at reducing gun violence. 

Shalom Center for Justice & Peace is a ministry of the United Methodist Church. It offers opportunities for education, action and spiritual fellowship concerning justice and peace at all levels: the person, church, community, nation and globe.

Islamic Center of East Lansing holds congregational prayers, teaching circles, educational programs, and social activities. It provides Muslims and non-Muslims with advice and information about Islam.

Edgewood United Church is a progressive Christian community with strong ties to East Lansing & Michigan State University. The congregation is especially active in efforts to promote social justice, cultivate interfaith collaboration, and support the area LGBT community.

Okemos Community Church is an interdenominational fellowship, with connections to the United Methodist Church. OCC has "a heart for missions," supports fair trade, and offers a wide variety of small group opportunities for adults and youth. 

Niagara Foundation strives to promote social cohesion by fostering civic conversations and sustained relationships between people of different cultures and faiths. It carries out its mission through hospitality, enrichment, and leadership.

What is the International Day of Peace?

The United Nations unanimously declared an International Day of Peace in 1981, a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” The General Assembly believed that through declaration and proper celebration, the ideals of peace could be strengthened and tensions and causes of conflict alleviated.

In September 2001, the General Assembly invited all nations and people to commemorate the day each year on September 21st through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. It is a way to acknowledge that humanity’s sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security.

Every year since, millions of people in all parts of the world mark the International Day of Peace. When we participate in the activities of PEACE QUEST 2016, we will be joining millions of people around the world in affirming the ideals of peace.

For the full text of the original resolution, please click here.

For the text of the resolution establishing September 21 as International Peace Day, please click here.

Culture of Peace

“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men than defenses of peace must be constructed"

Constitution of UNESCO, 1945

The United Nations defines “Culture of Peace” as a “set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals groups and nations.” A culture of peace is a vitally important mindset—one that each and every one of us can adopt. As stated on the UN’s International Day of Peace website, “The concept of a Culture of Peace has now grown into a global movement. Within the Culture of Peace framework, peace embraces far more than an absence of conflict. It encompasses tolerance, disarmament, sustainable economic and social development, democratic participation, gender equality, freedom of expression and respect for human rights. The transition from a culture of war to a Culture of Peace requires the transformation of individual behavior as well as institutional practices. Learning to live in peace and harmony is a long-term process, and begins with the development of inner peace, and nurturing attitudes that promote the expansion and integration of peaceful principles. Education and awareness-raising play key roles in this process.”

8 Action Areas have been identified that will help peace and justice to prevail:

  1. Foster a culture of peace through education
  2. Promote sustainable economic and social development
  3. Promote respect for all human rights
  4. Ensure equality between women and men
  5. Foster democratic participation
  6. Advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
  7. Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge
  8. Promote international peace and security

Read more about these action areas here.

COMING UP SOON!

Still to come this fall! UN Day in October, our annual membership meeting when we'll vote on a slate of candidates for the board and updating our by-laws. Last but not least, Human Rights Day which will be held on December 4th at Hannah Center. Some of this year's Humphrey Fellows will share their stories of human rights issues and successes in their home countries. Refreshments will be served. 

More details will be provided as they become available. Check the events page at www.gluna.org for updates.

Watch for Special Survey

GL-UNA's board of directors strives to make the organization responsive to the needs of its members. To that end, we are sending out a short, on-line survey to solicit your feedback on how we're doing and what programs and activities you are interested in seeing in the future. You'll receive a link to the survey which will take only a few minutes of your time to fill out. Please help us by completing the survey. It's only through the feedback of our members and friends that we can assure that GL-UNA continues to be a strong and vibrant organization. Thank you!

Watch for the next issue of the CommUNAcator in December!




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