PEACE AND TOLERANCE:

THE ROOTS ARE IN YOUR COMMUNITY, THE OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR HANDS – PRESIDENT ANN’S PEACE DAY MESSAGE  

19th  of September 2014

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In a message to Soroptimists and supporters for International Day of Peace

on 21st September, International President Ann Garvie has urged Soroptimists

to promote peace and tolerance in their communities, while influencing

decision-makers worldwide to end conflict and violence.

Read President Ann's full message below.


PEACE…

“It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard

work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

13 years ago the United Nations recognised September 21st as International Peace

Day, a day of non-violence and cease-fire.

10 years ago as SIGBI Federation President I chose as the theme for the 70th

Federation Conference“PEACE & TOLERANCE: The roots are in your

community, the opportunities in our hands”

The theme reflected the many difficulties facing us and threatening the very

existence of our fellow human beings worldwide. The challenge was to promote

peace and tolerance in our local communities while influencing decision-makers

worldwide to cease the unnecessary misery affecting innocent women and children.

Sadly today the lack of peace and tolerance within civil society is destroying

communities in too many parts of the globe. Extremism is a scourge upon civil

society and Soroptimist globally must endeavour to influence the acceptance of

tolerance within their communities and beyond.

The elimination of hatred, loneliness, war, conflict, injustice, poverty, ignorance,

prejudice, genocide and crime must be an ambition of every member of Soroptimist

International, otherwise the world which we leave behind will not be a credit to us

and we will have failed the generations to come.

Many Clubs have embraced projects which focus on the elimination of hatred and

the promotion of peace. However, as Soroptimists we have to accept that in today’s

world the desire to seek peace could never be of greater significance. 80% of children

in Syria no longer attend school, what are their chances in life without an EDUCATION?

Also as Soroptimist we must look inwardly and reflect, why members occasionally leave

our organisation citing that the members of a Club failed to demonstrate respect,

tolerance or friendship. The lack of such qualities result in strife within the Club and

factions working against each other. This is unacceptable and cannot nor should not

be tolerated.

On International Day of Peace, I urge all Soroptimists, at all levels of the organisation

to stretch out their hand of friendship and bring about reconciliation, internally and externally.

The Mayo Peace Park, located in Castlebar, Republic of Ireland was officially

opened in October 2008 by the then President of Ireland Mary McAlesse.

The park honours  local soldiers who were killed in the two world wars, members

of the Irish Defences Forces and An Garda Siochana, who lost

their lives in the line of duty. It is a quiet place of reflection for the families

and descendants.

As International President, I had the privilege in May 2014; to unveil a

peace plaque  accompanied by the President the National Association of the

Republic of Ireland Noreen Walsh, the Region President of Northern Ireland

Irene Miskimmon and the Club President of Castlebar Anne Collins, in the

Mayo Peace Park, a poignant moment for thought and reflection.

At the ceremony the Soroptimist Peace Pledge was read:

We are women standing for women. We come from many lands; we are different

colours, creeds and race and together we celebrate diversity. We are united in

our purpose to bring a message of peace to the women of the world.

Our declaration is tied with a blue ribbon, a symbol of the bond of friendship

that binds us together as members of Soroptimist International, reminding us

that our membership brings the responsibility to preserve freedoms and to be

peacemakers. We hope for a world where tolerance, reconciliation, cooperation

and partnership are realities.

 

  • We pledge to work for a world where
  • The human rights of all people are respected
  • Equal opportunities are available to women who are disadvantaged
  • through their gender, poor health or social exclusion
  • Education is accessible for all girls
  • Poverty and disease are conquered
  • All peoples enjoy safe and healthy environments
  • We contribute to the peace and prosperity of humankind by nurturing
  • a spirit of peace, encourage peace education and support a culture
  • of peace

PEACE IS OUR UNIFYING PURPOSE

Ann Garvie

Soroptimist International President 2013-2015
September 2014

Read more about International Peace Day and Soroptimist action for peace

and tolerance.

Last Updated (Saturday, 01 November 2014 06:41)

 
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