AS the Philippines recalled the imposition of martial law through Presidential Proclamation 1081 on Sept. 21, the United Nations observed International Day of Peace on the same day. Even how hard Marcos loyalists work to revise the historical narrative of the dark age of democracy under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos; there are still many among us who can personally testify to the atrocities and human rights violations of the Marcoses. Never again!
It was in 1981, when the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 36/67 declaring Sept. 21 as International Day of Peace aimed towards reconciling people around the world, especially those engaged in war. Sadly, global peace is elusive and the annual observance is merely symbolic, as conflicts and violence continue to inflict deaths and suffering among many people in all corners of the world.
For the 2020 observance, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres urged all warring parties to lay down their arms and focus on the global pandemic that threatens humanity.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (Acled), a disaggregated data collection, analysis and crisis mapping project, listed current conflicts today in places like Somalia, Afghanistan and Lebanon, among others. The list does not include tensions in the South China Sea, North Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.
I scoured for news on significant activities on Sept. 21 and I could only find one and it had a commercial angle. Peace One Day, whose goal is to raise awareness of #PeaceDay and manifest action, in turn decreasing violence around the world, reached out to as many people in 24-hours, partnering with Lipton under the program, “Make Tea Time Peace Time.”
The UN News had an article on the secretary-general speaking in front of the Japanese Peace Bell on the grounds of the UN Secretariat, where he outlined how the coronavirus is putting peace at risk that prompted him in March to appeal for a global ceasefire shortly after the pandemic was declared.
We did our share in marking the event in our FBLive program, GigAlive, where we focused on this year’s celebration theme, “Shaping Peace Together”. One of the songs I performed was “Imagine’ which can very well be the universal anthem for world peace. It is rather ironic that its composer John Lennon would be killed violently. Still I can hear John’s chanting, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”