Every year, 21 September is observed globally as the International Day of Peace. International Alert Pakistan, with the support of the European Union, DAI-EDACE and London School of Business and Finance, celebrated the day with students, artists and representatives of civil society, the donor community, private sector and government, to help strengthen the ideals of peace and raise the profile of the peacebuilding sector in Pakistan.
Following this year’s theme of the ‘Rights of peoples to peace’, the event in Islamabad featured a panel discussion and the launch of our report, Exploring the potential of the private sector to contribute to peacebuilding in Pakistan, which was funded by the EU. The panellists included experts on peace and conflict studies from academia, the media and civil society organisations.
The event also featured a live art competition on the theme Aman Hamara Haq, meaning ‘our right to peace’, which involved students from local colleges and universities (pictured above). The students used the medium of art to spread the message of social harmony and reinforce the crucial message that peace requires words, dialogue and culture. While a peace wall (pictured left) and photo booth gave attendees the opportunity to express what peace means to them and how it can be achieved.
Alert also celebrated the day in the districts of Sindh province, where we work. Our project partners, SAFWCO, held a seminar on this year’s theme with participation from community (migrant and host) activists, civil society organisations and minority representatives, as well as officials from the district government, judiciary and police. A charter of demand was drafted based on the proceedings and discussions of the seminar signed by all the participants.
International Alert Pakistan also contributed to the celebrations in London as part of the Talking Peace Festival, a month-long series of events across London designed to kick-start conversations about peace. Arieb Azhar, a folk/sufi musician performed at the launch party of the festival in Shoreditch and was also one of the panellists on the discussion on culture and peacebuilding along with James O’Brien, Claudia Roden and Salman Siddiqui, which was chaired by Alert’s Secretary General Dan Smith.