“The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.”
Today is the International Day of Friendship. A United Nations day, this is a day where we reflect on our own values, priorities and sentiments, as well as the UN mission to promote respect for all human rights. The United Nations says this about the International Day of Friendship:
“Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples.
To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.
Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.”
To celebrate the International Day of Friendship, we at Play for Peace are challenging ourselves to help build friendships among kids, teens, and adults from different sides of conflict. We hope to open spaces for dialogue, collaboration, and compromise when tensions rise. The conflicts our communities face often involves issues of religion, politics, immigration, caste, race, and many other local and global issues.
The friendships we will build across these divides can lead to foundational steps toward living together in peace. Ultimately conflict is rarely resolved with solutions of the mind. For sustainable peace to be achieved, the heart, with forgiveness, openness to diversity of thought and action, and compassion toward each other is the most effective way to reduce tension.
We invite you to celebrate with use today. Do something kind and make a friend. Hug the ones you love, even if you see them each day. Grab a cup of coffee with friends and have a nice chat. Smile at a stranger in the park.
But don’t stop with today! Join us as we work to build 10,000 Friendships Worldwide. From July 30, 2017, to July 30, 2018, we will work to build friendships across global divides. Stay tuned as we embark on this powerful work!
Take a look at the gallery below to view some of events and moments we feel highlight the values of International Day of Friendship.