Contributing to Peace through Restoring Family Links

Story by Betsy Amin-Arsala, National Headquarters, Restoring Family Links Volunteer

In 2014 the United Nations (UN) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly’s Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. “Peace” is not a pie-in-the-sky concept within the world of international humanitarian activity. Rather, it has been added to the list of human rights and is to be to pursued and celebrated accordingly. The UN encourages the expansion of this commemoration and, this year, used the day to reaffirm the principles on which the organization was founded.

The UN is not the only international body that recognizes and support International Day of Peace. Organizations around the world explore many different ways of attracting men, women, and children to contemplate peace, to find ways of living peace in their own lives, and to celebrate this international day.  This year, concerts were held in many places around the globe, including Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kathmandu, Nepal; Los Angeles, US; Mexico City, Mexico; and Cairo, Egypt.

Private non-profit groups and foundations also participated in raising consciousness and educating people on the importance of working for peace at every level of society. The Prem Rawat Foundation, a non-profit charity working to support human dignity by addressing the fundamental human needs of food, water, and peace, released content – including the video below – to promote peace-building work taking place globally.

The Red Cross itself has a long history of working for peace.  In fact, the founder of the Red Cross Movement, Henry Dunant, won the very first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901.  Since then the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has won the Nobel Peace Prize three times:  in 1917 and 1944 as a tribute to humanitarian work by the Red Cross in WWI and WWII and in 1963 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ICRC and The Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

On a daily basis, the American Red Cross joins other Red Cross Red Crescent societies in working towards a more peaceful world, from strengthening the resilience of communities to contributing to personal peace-of-mind by reconnecting families. The Restoring Family Links (RFL) program at the Red Cross continues to assert the right of all people to re-establish and maintain contact with their family members and other loved ones from whom they are separated during conflicts and disasters of all kinds.  Creating “peace” throughout the world includes personal peace and peace-of-mind.  RFL works at making this human right available across the globe.

For more information on events the UN held for International Day of Peace, please visit their website by clicking here.