Rotary Day at the United Nations will be held for the first time at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on November 11th to celebrate the two organisations’ shared vision for peace and highlight the vital humanitarian activities that Rotary and the UN lead around the world.
“Peace is much more than the mere absence of violence,” said Rotary International President, Ian Riseley, noting the world’s conversation about peace is shifting to positive, achievable and tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.
Rotary leaders, UN officials, and humanitarian experts will educate and inspire participants to work for peace locally, regionally, and globally.
The event will be conducted in English and French, and include a special workshop designed by and for young leaders. An opening reception and concert will be held on the evening of November 10th at the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Under this year’s theme of ‘Peace: Making a Difference’, Rotary will honour six members or alumni who have performed outstanding work for peace as Rotary’s People of Action: Champions of Peace:
- Jean Best, a member of the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, founded The Peace Project, a skills-based training that teaches teens in 10 countries to resolve conflict within themselves and to promote peace in their schools and communities.
- Ann Frisch, a member of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA, introduced the Civilian-Based Peace Process to train civilians in southern Thailand to build safe zones where families, teachers and local officials do not have to confront military forces every day.
- Safina Rahman, a member of the Rotary Club of Dhaka Mahanagar, Bangladesh, established Emancipation & Empowerment of Girls– a program that provides basic education, vocational training, disease prevention, conflict prevention, healthcare, safe drinking water and personal hygiene to 2,600 students in Bangladesh, emphasizing vocational opportunities for girls.
- Alejandro Reyes Lozano, a member of the Rotary Club of Bogotá Capital, Colombia, served as a key negotiator, helping to end hostilities with The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, after the initials in Spanish) by training women to reintegrate former guerillas into society. Through Women Building for Peace, women from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela develop peace-building, conflict resolution and mediation alternatives in their communities.
- Kiran Singh Sirah, a graduate of the Rotary Peace Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, uses storytelling as a path to build peace through his Telling Stories That Matter project to address issues related to gang violence, sectarian and ethnic conflict, poverty and human rights violations. He has led programs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland.
- Taylor (Stevenson) Cass Talbott, a graduate of the Rotary Peace Center at the International Christian University in Japan, helped give voice to the marginalized by Pushing for Peace, Sanitation & Dignity for Pune’s Waste Pickers. Her project helped boost the social perception of waste pickers in Pune, India by training them in communication and self-advocacy skills.
Event registration requires two steps, including ticket payment, and will be open until October 27th. To register and learn more about the event, please visit the Rotary Day at the UN website.