Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for Peace day 2016 is Sustainability – Building Blocks for Peace. The 17 sustainability goals adopted by all 193 Member States of the United Nations aim to end poverty protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
The fourth Object of Rotary is ‘ The advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.’ Rotarians are challenged to become better world citizens and build lasting international relationships. Our path to a more peaceful world is embedded in the work of our Foundation and our emphasis on clean water, health, hunger and literacy opportunities for every human being. As Rotarians we are urged to Go Wage Peace!

Rotary demonstrates its peace mission in several practical ways. Peace is much more than the absence of war. Peace cannot thrive in an atmosphere of conflict but there is no peace in poverty, hunger, ignorance, sickness and fear. Through The Rotary Foundation’s six areas of focus we serve to alleviate the hardships that get in the way of peace. Through the Rotary Student Exchange Program, we build peace one student at a time through education and friendship. There are now 1000 Rotary Peace Scholars working to reduce conflict and build understanding throughout the world. These scholars are graduates of one of the six Rotary Peace Centres located in Thailand, USA, Japan, England, Australia or Sweden.

Peace is not limited to one day. As Rotarian we are urged to build peace through our service. In district 5040 we are rightly proud of all our inbound and outbound exchange students. We currently have five Rotary Peace Scholars and have nominated two more to Rotary International. Our clubs are directly involved in the eradication of polio, educating children, providing access to clean water, building parks, and delivering health services.

We ask that you share your service projects with us. The District Peace Committee invites you to send photos and reports of your projects and let us know how you wage peace among your members. Rotary International provides excellent video and print resources that you can use to promote peace in your club meetings. Check out the Rotarian Action Group for Peace at https://www.rotarianactiongroupforpeace.org/. We can help put you in touch with an exchange student or Rotary Scholar to speak at your club. Promote peace activities among your Interact and Rotaract members and watch for the introduction of Early Act into our elementary schools and the establishment of Rotary Peace Schools in our District. As chair of the District Peace Committee you can reach me at:
johnlanderson@telus.net. We want to hear what you are doing and help you to share your ideas. Come join us in our efforts to wage peace in our district and beyond.