September 21 marks the International Day of Peace, celebrated in Colombia and throughout the world as an annual day of non-violence.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations (UN). In 2001, 192 member states of the UN unanimously adopted the day as a way to “invite all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities during the day, and to otherwise commemorate the day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”
Colombian singer Juanes commemorated the day of peace at the UN offices in Geneva, along side Spanish singer Miguel Bose, reported the EFE news agency. The two presented their campaign “Peace is a Human Right” with a video featuring popular artists, musicians, and actors in support of peace. Juanes explained that “the video is to ask people with kindness and respect to support this cause, not for Miguel or (myself), but for the wonderful idea of peace. This is the time to connect and to join forces.”
Juanes expressed his pride at the peaceful transformation that has been undertaken in Colombia since the height of it’s violence and turmoil, but warned of the risks that persist if opportunities are not provided for Colombian youth. He stated that “in Colombia 30 years have passed since Pablo Escobar, and although he no longer exists there are 5,000 or 6,000 young ‘Pablito’s’. Many of these people, young people from poor neighborhoods, are stuck [in situations of violence], not because they want to be, but because they have no other option.”
He said that within the “complexity” of Colombia he has noticed a change and considers new technology a powerful tool for young people to fight “for the transformation of politics, culture, and society in general.” The Colombian singer has been using his presence on social networking sites to further the “Peace is Human Right” campaign, connecting with people via his Twitter account with posts like “peace exists in the vast majority of hearts that inhabit this earth, it’s only a matter of connecting.”
Juanes’ online campaign “Peace Without Borders,” seeks supporters signatures for the goal of making “peace a human right for all that we are all entitled to. Ask the UN to end the culture of violence. We want to live in peace and for peace.”