Today is the International Day of Peace — a very special day. Celebrated annually on September 21, the occasion (also known as Peace Day) started back in 1981 at the United Nations General Assembly. It’s a day when all humanity is encouraged to cease hostilities, and to focus on “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”
This year’s theme is The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace. These 17 goals (SDGs) call for all countries to address social needs such as economic opportunity and education, and to tackle climate change and promote environmental protection.
These goals are interconnected, each reinforcing and dependent upon the others. That said, we at MUTTS are particularly interested in numbers 14 and 15 (Life Below Water and Life on Land), which aim to protect the world’s ecosystems along with the creatures that comprise them.
To spread word of its goals, the UN enlists the help of United Nations Messengers of Peace — that is, really amazing individuals who volunteer their talents to raise awareness about global peace initiatives. Dr. Jane Goodall, about whom MUTTS creator Patrick McDonnell wrote his biographical children’s book Me … Jane, is one of those people.
In Dr. Goodall’s 2016 Peace Day Message, she explains: “It is only if each and every one of us plays our part; walks our talk; that we can hope to attain the Sustainable Development Goals and move towards a world where we live in peace and harmony with each other and with the wonders of the natural world.”
We of course agree with Dr. Goodall, and have witnessed firsthand the wondrous effects of people playing their part, of walking their talk. Within the MUTTS community, for example, there are many individuals working tirelessly to make the world a better place for domestic and wild animals, for humans, and for the environment.
And today, on the International Day of Peace, we thank and honor those friends for their efforts. We also respectfully and optimistically ask anyone interested in doing more to begin now, on Peace Day.
Want to get started? Visit UN.org to see all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or head over to the Jane Goodall Institute to see how you can contribute to conservation efforts around the world. Curious about opportunities for young people? Check out Roots & Shoots, Dr. Goodall’s global youth-led community action program (with more than 150,000 members) to learn about the next generation of conservationists and peace messengers.
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