September 21

 International Day of Peace
Reflection

 The theme for International Day of Peace 2019 is Climate Action for Peace. The theme draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. Climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resource and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent. On September 23, the United Nations is convening a Climate Action Summit with concrete and realistic plans to accelerate action to implement the Paris Agreement. The Summit will focus on the heart of the problem – the sectors that create the most emissions, and the areas where building resilience could make the biggest difference – as well as provide leaders and partners the opportunity to demonstrate real climate action and showcase their ambition. The five top polluting nations in order are: China, United States, India, Russia, Japan. The United Nations calls upon all to take action to tackle climate change since every human is part of the solution.
Adapted from UN bulletin.

Prayer

Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe.

Action

Respond to the UN call to work for raising awareness, running educational programs, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices. What concrete thing can you do?

Suggested Reading
True peace is the fruit of justice. True peace is the fruit of respecting the dignity all people and nations. True and lasting peace is born when justice and mercy meet.
Pax Christi USA

I wish to mention another threat to peace, which arises from the greedy exploitation of environmental resources. Even if ‘nature is at our disposition’, all too often we do not ‘respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters.
Pope Francis

In our day, there is a growing awareness that world peace is threatened not only by the arms race, regional conflicts and continued injustices among peoples and nations, but also by a lack of due respect for nature, by the plundering of natural resources and by a progressive decline in the quality of life.
Pope John Paul II

Today peace faces a new danger: the climate emergency which threatens our security, our livelihoods, and our lives.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

We know that environmental degradation and water stress can lead to hunger, famine and displacement, and combined with economic and political instability, can lead to migration and conflict.
Manish Bapna, WRI

Climate change is a “threat multiplier”…because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today – from infectious disease to armed insurgencies – and to produce new challenges in the future.
Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

A ruined planet cannot sustain human lives in good health. A healthy planet and healthy people are two sides of the same coin.
Dr. Margaret Chan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization

The impact of climate change goes beyond the environment. At the national, regional and global levels, climate change is having a significant effect on economies, social development and peace and security, particularly in fragile contexts where it is a threat multiplier to governance challenges.

\Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change

 

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