Rotary Club of Mississauga South Commemorates International Peace Day
MISSISSAUGA, Canada, Sep 30 – The Rotary Club of Mississauga South commemorated the International Day of Peace last week at Mississauga Valley Community Centre at its bi-weekly club meeting. The event was attended by Rotary members as well as residents of Mississauga and adjoining areas.
Peace Day is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution of the United Nations, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace. The peace theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” The theme honours the spirit of respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.
For more than a decade, Rotary has been developing leaders in peace and conflict prevention and resolution through programs like Rotary Peace Centres and Rotary Peace Fellowships. Every time Rotary members provide clean water and sanitation, support basic education, grow local economies, or stop the spread of infectious diseases, they’re building peace.
The meeting was presided over by the Club President Hashim Taqvi. As the master of ceremony, Majid Kazmi, President-Elect of the Club, commenced the proceedings with a peace prayer. Rotary District Governor, Kathleen Dick was the chief guest at the event. She spoke about the efforts of Rotarians in promoting collective understanding of the universal values of mutual respect and egalitarianism across diverse groups in every country where Rotary exists. At this occasion, Timothy Whitehead from the Rotary District inducted a new member into the Club.
The keynote speaker Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, a Rotary Peace Fellow, highlighted the importance of peace in creating communities where true human potential can flourish. He stressed the importance of a proactive approach to building world peace by investing in education, economic empowerment, diversity, social justice and health—what he referred to as positive peace as opposed to negative peace where the focus is only on cessation of violence and addressing the effects of violence. In his insightful speech, Dr. Ahmed listed eight imperatives for building sustainable world peace while underscoring the need for perseverance by governments and civil society in their pursuit of peace.
The meeting was concluded by lighting the peace candle to express solidarity with victims of violence around the world and to show support to all those who work to uphold the ideals of universal peace.