On Sept. 20 in Jeju City, “Jeju, Walking on the Peace Trail” was held with 500 participants starting at Gwandeokjeong Pavilion and walking through Old Jeju City to hope for global peace.
The organizers called for all Jeju residents including members of Jeju’s international community to come together to learn more about the island's history and also to encourage intercultural understanding. A recurring theme of the walk was how conflict around the world has increased persecution and human rights violations.
The walk was held the day prior to the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 when the United Nations calls on nations, communities and individuals to renounce conflict and promote harmony. Global Inner Peace, with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, organized the educational walk to historic local sites associated with the Jeju Massacre, religious persecution and human security.
The UN set the theme for the day as the Right of Peoples to Peace, recognizing that peace and security are essential to the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms. In a statement, Security General Ban Ki-moon said that people everywhere need to unite behind peace for the sake of humanity.
“History has shown that, no matter how fierce, conflict can end, peace can prevail and reconciliation can triumph. On 21 September, at concerts around the world -- in major cities and small towns, in conflict zones and peaceful communities – people will broadcast this essential message. They will celebrate the value of human diversity and the strength of our unity,” wrote Ban.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 (although first observance was in 1982) by the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session on the third Tuesday of September. It was then set on Sept. 21 after a General Assembly vote in 2001.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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