As on every September 21st, the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and the Home for Cooperation (H4C) join the global celebrations for the International Day of Peace.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world by nations, communities, organizations, families and individuals who believe in the importance of living in a world where human rights are respected, social justice is ensured, intercultural solidarity is encouraged and sustainable peace is considered pragmatic. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire even though this has not generally been the case. Intolerance, inequality, discrimination, and violations of human rights have been impeding global efforts for constructing a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. In addition, challenges such as forced migration and displacement, hate speech and xenophobia, climate change and the rise of extremism and propaganda accompanying the spread of COVID-19 call for immediate and consistent action.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is ‘Shaping Peace Together’. This year, with our experiences with the pandemic, has been a reminder for us all that, in order to combat and overcome barriers to peace and establish sustainable peace at all levels, a holistic approach and new forms of solidarity in our work, activism and everyday lives are of paramount importance. We, at the Home for Cooperation and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research, reiterate our motivation to rebuild our communities, work collectively to reinforce democracy and state that developing a sense of common humanity is the platform to inspire hope and motivate action.
Towards this end,
We call for educational stakeholders to engage in dialogical processes for reimagining an education for a multilingual, multifaith and multicultural Cyprus;
We invite community leaders to invest energy and resources for participatory mechanisms that engage people from all walks of life in decision making and empower the marginalized in their towns, villages and neighbourhoods;
We encourage teachers of all educational levels to provide their students opportunities for contact with people from other communities and linguistic, ethnic and religious backgrounds;
We express our determination to continue working with artists for the promotion of alternative viewpoints and creativity beyond borders and dividing lines;
We invite youth from all communities to engage in activities that question the status quo and the structures that perpetuate hatred, animosity and racism;
We demand from our political leaders to commit to policies that protect the environment and guarantee that corruption will not impede future generations from living in harmony with the Earth;
We commit to continue working for reconciliation by Shaping Peace Together!