On September 21 2020, the International Day of Peace, the Peace 50 community hosted a special peace action. 50 women from 20 different countries took part in the online meeting. During an hour, they discussed what meaning the concept of ‘peace’ has for them and, most importantly, what each person can do today to preserve and develop our planet.
Message to the World Leaders:
The Peace Hour action echoed in the hearts of women from all over the planet. Although a few days have passed since the meeting, the warming aftertaste still does not leave its participants.
Connection, collaboration, empathy, and sincere love are the keys to preserving peace and restoring it if necessary.
Celebrating the International Day of Peace, we give a promise to provide our children with a better future. Today, we must do our best to become responsible and caring about the world around us and our planet’s future. Then we will manage to fulfil all our dreams.
You can read the main article about the Peace Hour action on the Argumenty I Fakty weekly magazine’s website.
The Global Women Media website will soon publish a video about the Peace Hour with interviews of the action’s participants.
We keep sharing the energy of that event with our readers. These words are filled with powerful, unifying, and sincere meaning.
Marina Volynkina (Russia):
“By holding our hands, forgetting all insults and difficulties, erasing the stereotypes from our consciousness that are imposed by the media, we are able to stop aggression, wars, murders, and humiliation of entire nations. We must remind all the inhabitants of the planet Earth that the main task of everyone is to love each other. We need to start with ourselves: our behaviour, deeds, and actions.”
Gülden Türktan (Turkey):
“There is not only a winning party but also a losing party in any war. At the same time, each of the parties inevitably has losses. Now, more than ever, it is time to stop conflicts and be activists for peace. We need peace. Unlike war, it promotes the sustainable development of humanity.”
Barbara Dietrich (Belgium)
“During the global pandemic, it is important that we are together, support each other, and act with empathy and understanding. Women are very concerned about the future. Our task today is to preserve peace and build trust and empathy.”
Joynicole Martinez (USA)
“We, women from different countries, are committed to putting an end to the cycles of anger and aggression. We are committed to sustainable cultural and economic development. Our strength is in our non-indifference and diversity. Thanks to our ‘soft power’, we can create a new reality based on respect, social justice, and expanded human opportunities. So, we celebrate the UN’s International Day of Peace today – the peace that we shape together.”
Carol Kinsey Goman (USA):
“I personally think that peace is inside working on yourself. When a woman is at peace with herself, her confidence, kindness, love, and positive energy just come effortlessly and organically from her inner self. Such vibrations can change our world for the better”.
Marina Mishunkina (Russia)
“People need good, peace, neighbourliness, and equal rights. Politicians target next elections. Instead, they’d better target the next generations. I would like to address them: you’re one of us. Make a pause. Take a look at your children and grandchildren. Ask yourself: what do they need? And they need what all of us yearn for: peace.”
Caroline Codsi (Canada)
“I am speaking to you today as a Lebanese woman who grew up in a civil war. But I’m also speaking to you as a Canadian woman who is fortunate to live in a free and safe country. I would like to emphasize the important role of women in development and peace preservation. Much has already been said about it in various documents and at various conferences. When women leaders participate in peace processes, peace lasts longer and the durability of peace agreement increases. And the preservation of peace is our main task.”
Oyuntsetseg Khurts (Mongolia):
“The characteristic feature of Mongolians is tolerance. We are very respectful and tolerant to the vision, religion, and all kinds of human views. We need to bring up such qualities simply in the younger generation, in young people from all countries. Such actions as Peace Hour are important and necessary in the modern world. They allow us to unite people of different cultures, religions, and nationalities, help us understand each other better and learn from each other all the most valuable things.”
Svetlana Kononchenko (Russia):
“We are all on the same spaceship that travels through the universe. Our wellbeing and the success of our flight depend on every crew member. If a part of the crew behaves selfishly, wasting all the supplies and destroying everything around them, the spaceship is doomed to crash. Each of us can fix the situation through our own thoughts and actions.”
Sati Mata (Ukraine):
“I wish all people on this planet to open their hearts. Love brings the whole world closer together. It is the greatest instrument of consent. Of course, peace of mind is what gives birth to love. Only the one who reached the inner peace can share it with every living being!”
Vanda Gagiano (South Africa):
“Peace is the hope of every nation, the promise of every politician, and the goal of every prayer. Peaceful revolution is the outcome of peaceful thinking. Peaceful minds lead to peace in society and on the whole planet. Peace can be established only when every single unit of society is ready to live positive without aggression. The key to world peace lies in responding and accepting the contradictions and differences between us.”
Myonghee Kim (South Korea):
“For the past several years, I have been involved in designing and implementing leadership training programmes for female college students and young women in several developing countries, such as Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia on the sponsorship of UNESCO and the South Korean government. I believe that women empowerment is the key to the wellbeing of the planet and the preservation of peace.”
Tatyana Novikova (Russia):
“In the 20th century, many countries of the world were involved in the Second World War. For my country, it became the Great Patriotic War, the struggle for people’s freedom and peace in our cities and villages. The Soviet soldiers did not stop at the borders of our country after freeing their land from fascists. They freed many countries in Europe. Today, the role and glory of the Soviet soldiers are being challenged in political interests. However, that can lead to a new war, to new deaths. One can’t rewrite history. One has to remember it and its hard lessons. Only then life will go on and tragedies will not be repeated.”
Victoria Phiri (Zambia):
“For Zambia, peace means neighbourliness. We have 73 different ethnic groups and live happily and friendly. Zambia is surrounded by at least 8 countries. Two countries, Angola and Congo, had long civil wars. But Zambia has always strived to preserve good neighbourliness as the beginning of peace. Now we are discussing peace, when the war has not yet come, people just sit down at the negotiating table. We would like to remind the politicians that our choice is peaceful dialogue.”
Vera Tiestto (Russia):
“We are living through a transition into a new world. To solve all our problems rapidly and give a new direction of development to our civilization in harmony with nature and laws of the universe, one simple step would be enough. One should realize himself or herself not a separate person but a part of the greater whole at the level of family, collective, country, humanity, planet, and finally the universe.”
Anna Kurilenko (Russia):
“The world around us is the reflection of our consciousness. If our mind is filled with fear, aggression, and rejection, all these things are manifested instantly in the space around us. Today, every person feels tension in society more than ever because of instability in the world. A woman’s heart is sensitive to what is happening. A woman is naturally the ‘keeper of peace’. She is the one who creates the space of harmony, friendship, and love in her family and the whole world. That is why it is important to delegate authority to women in matters of peacemaking and recognise the importance of the process of maintaining and preserving peace globally. We must have a bright future where our children and grandchildren will grow up. Let’s create it today!”
Anna Wolf (Germany):
“For me, peace is a feeling that we all share and try to achieve. I gain some peace, by creating a space where I feel comfortable and peaceful. Connecting to this feeling of harmony with yourself and the world creates understanding and compassion for all people around you. Although these feelings offer no solution to global problems, they are healing and help us open the heart and the mind. I think that connecting to our feelings is the way to peace.”
Gohar Davtyan (Armenia):
“Love is an invaluable gift that fills hearts, heals wounds, and dissolves everything negative. As Mother Teresa said, “this world suffers not from lack of bread but from lack of love”. Opening our hearts is the only remedy. Love can save not only individuals but also all humanity from any ailments.”
Gong Ming (China):
“Today, we are all here not as Chinese, Russians, Americans, or representatives of other countries. We are here as people of the world. Peace is a very deep concept. It includes friendship, cooperation, harmony, and absence of cruelty and hostility. Peace is what unites us and together we are strong. We, women, can save the world by joining our hands and filling it with our love.”
Anastasia Ptukha (Russia):
“The peace for me is universal love. When we say love, sometimes it sounds too abstract. For me, love begins with truth. It is truth, honesty, and honour that are lacking in the world today. That is why it is so important for us to be honest with ourselves and with others today. Let us imagine the universe where everyone wants to tell only the truth. It will be definitely a magical world”.
Pick Keobandith (Laos–France):
“I want to pay homage to the women who have won the Peace Nobel Prize. This is an award that is given for contributions to the preservation and promotion of peace. There were not so many women laureates: 14 out of 70 people. That is why it is especially important to know and remember their names. Women in all countries have always been striving to preserve our world”.
Miriam Leitner (Germany):
“Once I moved to a foreign country with my family. I liked that journey but felt alien and that was the situation of great insecurity. Everything changed when I started communicating with people more. We spoke about our differences and similarities, exchanged our opinions, and ideas. I felt calm and comfortable when feeling connected to them. Today, I am deeply convinced that if each of us starts listening to other people without prejudice and understanding them, a network of connections based on love and connection will appear. That’s the basis for peace: the feeling of connection with each other”.
Concetta Spitaleri (Italy):
“Peace is balance. When it is disturbed, we have to spend our resources trying to get it back. Women from different countries are strong, creative, and innovative. They can adapt, resist, and achieve results peacefully. Unfortunately, today, many countries still have problems that prevent women and men from realising their full potential. I think that sometimes instability becomes an opportunity to become stronger. The main thing is to maintain a balance”.
Olga Zonova (Russia–Italy):
“The world is diverse. Today, many people define their gender differently. I want to draw your attention to the fact that the conflict here is not in the absence of respect for minorities. The conflict is that people spend a lot of energy to show their difference. There is no concept of tolerance in the Russian language and culture. There are concepts of ‘patience’ and ‘respect’. Tolerance is a dangerous word because it is not clear where respect ends and violence against a person begins”.
Ianina Cozari (Belgium):
“As a journalist, I think we have another kind of war today: it is an informational war. I think we have to spend more and more time with our children creating a positive space for them. We should introduce them to art, cultures of other countries, help them develop, hug and kiss them more often so that they feel our love”.
Students of the International College for Arts and Communication (Russia):
“Adults, can you please listen to us, kids, just for once? We sincerely want to live. Stop fighting. Are there really no other solutions? The war is killing all living: kindness, faith, love, dreams, people’s lives... Yes, we're all different, but we live on the same planet! We must fill our hearts with love and understanding. Help us make our dream come true!”
“I believe in the power of the diversity: it's beautiful, it’s tolerant and it’s peaceful. My idea of saving the world is that we should all unite in our diversity. Unity is in diversity. Our differences should become our power and make us closer. And there’s only one thing that is more powerful than this idea – it’s the strength of the people turning this idea into reality”.
Fatima Norell (Sweden):
“I am an Ossetian and live in Sweden. In my opinion, Sweden is the most peaceful country in the world. For more than 200 years, Sweden hasn’t had wars. It has had time to take care of its ecology, people, future of the rising generations, and technological development. Sweden has the way of living called ‘lagom’: being in balance, being in the middle, everything is enough for everyone. I believe that such a rule is the key to peace.”
Oksana Kurenya (Russia):
“Every person should always remember that all we have is now. And that's the present! We are creating our future every moment of our lives, so peace and prosperity of all living depend on every action, every thought taken in the present. To maintain and fortify peace it is very important to mind every step, every thing, even that that may seem minute and of less significance. Anything that we do today will constitute the base for our tomorrow.”
Elena Orlova (Russia–Latvia):
“When I talk about peace, I mean peace for our children, youth, and next generations. We live for them and their future. Years and centuries later, they will have to make a choice between peace and war. To do that, they must understand the risks and threats they will face and realize their responsibility for the fate of the planet”.
Johanna Kouzmine-Karavaïeff (Belgium):
“I’m working with the transfer of skills and competences and have vast experience in intercultural communication. I can see how much we need tolerance in developing international strategies today. I believe that mutual understanding and respect will allow us to reach a new level of relationships, to ‘look under the surface’, and to strengthen ties”.
Yanina Dubeykovskaya (Russia–Zambia):
“I think that peacekeeping is in the DNA of every woman. Each of us has a certain influence in this or that area. To strengthen the results of our peacekeeping activities, we should do our utmost every day, do everything that depends on us, and be sure to rely on such values as kindness, stability, and trust. Then we will create a truly peaceful environment around us”.