Wherever they are and whatever they are doing, Barbadians are being asked to wear white and to observe the “Minute for Peace” at noon, this Sunday, September 21, in recognition of International Day of Peace.
This call was made today by AJA, Coordinator of the Peace Day Activities in Barbados and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) spokesperson for Peace and Poverty Eradication for Barbados and the OECS. He was speaking at a press conference at Government Headquarters to announce the activities for International Day of Peace.
Noting that a day of prayer was the focus of this year’s observation, AJA explained that, as the event was taking place on a Sunday, schools would dedicate their assemblies to peace and Peace Ambassadors would conduct prayers at their respective schools on Monday, September 22.
In her remarks, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Maxine McClean, noted that since the majority of Barbadians worshipped on Sundays, the International Day of Peace was an opportunity for the Christian community and all other faiths in Barbados to participate in activities to commemorate the Day.
“The Government recognises the importance of peace in any society, and against the background of what we have seen in recent years, it is important that we commemorate any effort to bring recognition to the need for communities and for individuals to play their part in contributing to world peace. We would want all Barbadians to take time to make a personal commitment to doing something to recognise it,” Ms. McClean said.
During his comments at the press conference, Chairman of the Barbados Christian Council, the Rt. Rev. Dr. John Holder, noted that observance of the day would form a natural part of the church’s liturgies, as prayers for peace of the world were said every Sunday.
“Of course, for the Christian, peace is not simply an absence of conflict. Peace has to do with a wholeness of body, of mind. Peace has to do with working to eradicate and remove the structures that create conflict and lead to violence in our society. What we will be doing on Sunday is to pray for the wholeness of humanity, the wholeness of the world …” Dr. Holder stated.
Also addressing the press conference was Dr. Barbara Graham, who was representing the UN Resident Coordinator, Michelle Gyles-McDonnough. Dr. Graham said that as part of his initiative, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, was encouraging everyone across the world to send text messages on September 21.
“There is also a text of the Secretary General’s own message which he will send. He has basically said that on that day, he will call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger for all human rights,” Dr. Graham revealed.