Worthy sentiments from Rotary International
Declaration of peace
“Peace” Begins With You
hiroshima, 18 may 2013
All human beings have the right to live in a state of peace, free from violence, persecution, inequality, and suffering. As leaders and friends of the Rotary movement, united in service, we publicly declare our commitment to creating a more peaceful world.
We look to the future with the hard-earned knowledge of past lessons as our guide. We have come together in Hiroshima, a city that experienced the destructive consequences of war just a few generations ago. Out of the ashes of that terrible conflict, people decided to rebuild and move forward in the collective pursuit of peace. While the world must never forget the tragedy that took place here, Hiroshima’s resurgence demonstrates the transformative, healing power of sustainable peace between nations.
We know that peace cannot thrive unless we are willing to work for it. Peace is a way of life, requiring steadfast commitment. “Peace begins with you” is our call to action, and each of us recognizes that we have a personal responsibility to answer it. Peace begins when all of us make a conscious effort in our daily lives to promote harmony with our neighbors and create friendships that transcend the divisions of nationality, politics, religion, and culture. Peace is sustained when we join together, work together, and in turn, inspire young people to hear the call to action and carry the pursuit of peace forward, generation after generation.
We express our desire for a peaceful world through the action of service. By serving and helping others, we gain empathy and understanding, build lasting bonds of friendship, and empower others to become peacemakers. Consider some of the ways that we have enhanced peace together through Rotary:
vTo help mend international relationships that were damaged during two world wars, Rotary established intercountry committees, which facilitate humanitarian and peace efforts between countries. Today, nearly 250 intercountry committees are working to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace.
vFor more than 75 years, students and host families have broadened their horizons through Rotary Youth Exchange. Each year, more than 8,000 students in 80 countries have the opportunity to bridge cultures and enhance international understanding through short-term and long-term exchanges.
v Through The Rotary Foundation’s Peace Fellowships, more than 700 Rotary Peace Fellows have earned master’s degrees or professional certificates that enable them to pursue careers in peace-building and conflict resolution.
We urge everyone who shares our vision of peace to take action:
v Be a peace-builder in every interaction you undertake with your fellow human beings. Let every action be one that builds goodwill and better friendships.
v Use your voice and your vote to encourage your elected leaders to adopt peaceful conflict resolution practices instead of resorting to war.
v Reject the notion of enemies. Actively befriend people from countries that have traditionally had adversarial relationships with your own country.
v Provide opportunities for young people to develop their leadership potential and become active stakeholders in their communities.
v Connect with others to make a difference. There are Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, working in more than 34,000 communities worldwide. Join us in advancing Peace Through Service.
Peace is not a final destination to be reached, but an active and continuous process. All of us are capable of becoming peacemakers in our own lives, and through our words and actions, we will demonstrate that peace is possible