The United Nations launched a text messaging for peace campaign today, urging cell phone users in the United States to compose peace messages to be published on a website and delivered to world leaders gathered for the General Assembly later this month.
One of the events promoting the International Day of Peace, held on 21 September to observe “a day of ceasefire and non-violence”, encourages US cell phone users to send 160-character text messages starting with the word ‘PEACE’ to phone number 69866.
The UN Department of Public information will collect the texts on a website www.peaceday2008.org as well as send the messages to dignitaries attending the UN General Assembly on 23 September.
“I call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger, and for all human rights for all,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message on 29 August.
“Together let us send a powerful signal for peace that will be read, heard and felt around the world,” he added.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the General Assembly, and this year the Secretary-General will ring the Japanese Peace Bell at UN Headquarters on Friday, 19 September at noon to signal a minute of silence.
Attending the ceremony in New York will be Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall and Midori Goto, who are all UN Messengers of Peace.
After the ceremony, students from schools around New York will hold a video conference with their counterparts in Sudan, Afghanistan and Liberia.