The International Day of Peace was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. In 2002, September 21 was designated as the permanent date for this observance. It has become a worldwide movement to create a global ceasefire and a day of peace and nonviolence.

In establishing the International Day of Peace, the United Nations General Assembly decided that it would be appropriate "to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as of the whole of humankind, to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways . . . [The International Day of Peace] should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples."

The Assembly's resolution declared that the International Day of Peace "will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our Organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the Organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace. May this Peace Day indeed be a day of peace."

When you observe this very special day, you are joining with people who have organized some thousands of events in nearly 200 countries. Make this a day when peace-lovers become peacemakers.

How to Observe This Day:

• Read our collection of inspirational quotations for peacemakers Peace Is the Way.

Sign up for our e-course "Practicing Spirituality with the Peacemakers", which begins Friday, September 26, and runs through U.S. Election Day, Nov. 4. You'll receive 40 daily emails with the teachings and inspirational practices of peacemakers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Desmond Tutu, Joan Chittister, Claude Anshin Thomas, Bernie Glassman, Daniel Berrigan, John Dear, Dorothy Day, and many others. Along with a short passage about peacemaking will be a simple suggestion for how you can practice that thought during your day. Then join other course participants in an online Practice Circle and share your experiences of being peacemakers.

Find an event in your area at

• Participate in the International Day of Peace Vigil.

Light a candle for peace at

Explore more resources on peace (books, movies, teaching stories, spiritual exercises, articles) at our Peace Homepage.

Author's Bio: 

The Brussats are the co-directors of, a multifaith website providing recommendations and resources for people on a spiritual journey. They are the authors of the national bestseller Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life.