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Mayor calls for city to support International Day of Peace

15 September 2015

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District is calling on people from across the district to attend a series of special events marking an International Day of Peace, taking place on Monday September 21.

The day is celebrated worldwide annually by the UN in an effort to unite communities across the globe in a campaign against conflict, and Monday’s events have been organised by local charity the Heartfulness Meditation Group.

A special launch event took place today in Derry’s Guildhall where Mayor Elisha McCallion highlighted the importance of marking the day, particularly in terms of the city’s own struggle with conflict. “We are all too aware of the devastating effects of conflict with the prominence of the refugee crisis in the media at the moment, and the International Day of Peace provides us with the opportunity to remember the human suffering around the world.

“I want to encourage everyone to take time out on Monday to take part in some of the events, especially the minute of silent meditation taking place in the Guildhall Square. It’s important that we, as a city emerging from conflict, remember those who still have a long way to go in achieving peace and reconciliation, and show that we stand in solidarity with the many victims of violence and oppression across the globe.”

This year’s theme is ‘Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All’ and local people are invited to gather in the Guildhall Square on Monday from 11.30am, when a special presentation will be made by the Mayor before the minute’s silence at 12noon. This will be followed by a special Balloon Release for Peace, and a series of workshops taking place throughout the afternoon in the Guildhall.
Schools and community groups are all invited to attend, and participants will have the opportunity to offer their own ‘wish for peace’ by writing on recyclable paper hearts which will be placed on a special Peace Tree at the Guildhall.

The events will conclude at 6pm with a special silent meditation led by the Mayor. For more information about the UN International Day of Peace please go to www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/