International Day of Peace 2014 - Message from Dr. Jane Goodall
Statement for the 2014 United Nations International Day of Peace
This year the theme for the International Day of Peace on the September 21 is "The Right of Peoples to Peace." We all yearn for a world at peace. We are all horrified and saddened when we think of the violence in the world today ― violence against one another and violence toward the natural world.
Our hearts go out to all the hundreds of thousands who have been killed, wounded or forced to flee from their homes. With the ever widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots,” there is a huge number of people whose basic needs are not being met, whose voices are not being heard. When they become desperate and sometimes violent, unscrupulous leaders can then exploit them for their own political gains.
Perhaps we cannot influence soldiers to lay down their weapons or governments to ground their missiles; but we can take the opportunity of the International Day of Peace to think about it, talk and make our views known.
And what about our right to live in peace with the natural world? We can think about how we live our own lives. Are we doing our best to live in harmony with nature? Do we care about the size of our ecological footprint? This matters, because lasting peace between peoples will never come about unless we learn to respect and live in harmony with nature.
Natural resources such as timber, wildlife and plants are not infinite, and our wasteful and thoughtless abuse of these is causing horrendous damage to the environment and blighting the future of life on earth. As Gandhi said, “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.” If people are starving with no way out of poverty, they will hardly join our fight to protect the natural world for the benefit of humans ― and other animals ― for generations to come.
At the Jane Goodall Institute, we believe that every one of us can make a difference. Our programs help people to struggle out of poverty on the one hand, work to curb the excesses of the wealthy on the other, and try to find ways to slow down human population growth. Together, let us help humanity move to a future when "The Right of Peoples to Peace" becomes more than a slogan, but rather the foundation of a culture of peace for all.Yours
Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute &
UN Messenger of Peace
the Jane Goodall Institute-USA Headquarters
Get Involved in the Day of Peace in your Community
Build one of Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Signature Giant Peace Dove Puppets.
- Make a smaller dove puppet out of recycled materials, or a paper dove.
- Show off your Giant Peace Dove Puppet in a parade around your school or community. Find local events.
- Learn more about the UN's observance of the Day of Peace. Download this year's poster.
- Plan a project in your community with Roots & Shoots that celebrates peace and benefits people, animals and the environment.
- Share a #PeaceDay selfie on social media. Hold up this sign to show your support of "Right of Peoples to Peace."