Tyneside author Paula McCormack says give peace a chance

PUBLISHED: 01:16 19 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:00 20 February 2013

Tyneside author Paula McCormack says give peace a chance

Tyneside author Paula McCormack says give peace a chance

A Tyneside author, speaker and campaigner on behalf of communities wants us all to give peace a chance on September 21. Paula McCormack explains why to North East Life

Two years ago and within the space of just one week, in three separate locations throughout the UK, with three different people, an organisation calling itself Peace One Day (POD) came into my awareness. I felt compelled to investigate further.

My investigations did not disappoint. In 12 years, the organisation has achieved the most phenomenal movement.

In its first two years it lobbied for a UN Resolution to make September 21 of each year a day of ceasefire and non-violence. In 2001, 192 States agreed this motion and a world press conference was organised for September 11, 2001 at the UN offices in New York. Minutes before commencement, the first plane hit the Twin Towers and so the announcement was never made.

Over the next six years, POD worked in the worst conflict zones in the world and, in particular, in Afghanistan. The organisation was founded on the belief that if it could prove the Peace One Days success in the worst conflict zone in the world, it would prove that peace could happen anywhere and everywhere.

In September 2007, mere days before Peace Day, the Taliban issued a statement to say that it would not fire unless fired upon and it would allow access to areas otherwise protected. On September 21, 2007, 1.4 million children were inoculated in Afghanistan. This has been upheld every year since, resulting in lives saved, 4.5 million children vaccinated against polio, other aid provided and for some, the putting down of arms and having the time to reflect on what they are doing to their own children.

This has enabled community choice in deciding not to fight again.
But peace is not always about war. Its also about the basic fundamental issues that affect all of us in everyday life.

So here in the North East, with a small group of volunteers utterly dedicated to peace in their own ways, were working with prisons, schools, universities, local authorities, culture, the arts and housing associations, to bring about reductions in offending and re-offending, domestic violence, anti-social behaviour and economic oppression, and to offer a space where our communities and people can find that piece of peace within them that allows them to bring to bear the fullest and most beautiful of their being, contributing for a mutually beneficial life.

It is every human beings entitlement to experience peace and all of us have the power to do so, irrespective of the circumstance or environment. It seems in the rush of life many have forgotten this. September 21 offers a space to celebrate peace and the opportunity to reflect.

To demonstrate the power of the collective joining in one purpose, were hosting a free Peace concert at the Sage, Gateshead on September 20, starting at 6pm,with a fantastic line up, all performing original pieces of peace, to open the space for Peace Day to be acknowledged, celebrated and honoured.

Wed love you join us at the concert to see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war (Martin Luther King, Jr).

About the author

Paula McCormack is an author, speaker, founder of The Adaptive Approach and facilitator of Development for Leaders, organisations with a social purpose and communities. Her latest book 'helpLess' offers an insightful reflection on today's communities and shift that needs to happen to re-balance humanity. More information can be found @ www.help-less.com or www.theadaptive.co.uk or www.paulamccormack.co.uk.

You can buy a copy of 'helpLess' discounted from 14.99 to 10 @ www.paulamccormack.co.uk

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