Italy 20 September: Rome

Celebrating the UN International Day of Peace

Enjoy this video of the ceremony as well as some news clips.

Today we opened "Colours of Peace" an exhibition of more than 5,000 peace-drawings from children of 128 countries.

Colors of Peace is the world's largest exhibition of children’s peace-drawings from the most countries celebrating the UN International Day of Peace (September 21st).

More than 5,000 children's peace-drawings from 128 countries are on display encircling the Colosseum in Rome from 20th to 29th September.

Alfredo De Joannon, President of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Italia welcomed the guests.

Banda dei Carabinieri (The band of Carabinieri) began with the Italian National Anthem.

The Peace Run Choir sang the Peace Run song composed by founder Sri Chinmoy.

Dottoressa (Dr.) Rossella Rea (Director of the Colosseum), in her last year as Director, welcomes the exhibition to the Colosseum.

Salil Wilson from New York, Executive Director of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, shared a little of the history of Sri Chinmoy first mentioning the idea of the Peace Run after leading a Peace Meditation program at the United Nations in 1986.

Salil shared some of Sri Chinmoy's words about the United Nations, "To work at the United Nations is not like working at any other place. To work at the United Nations, to serve the United Nations in any capacity — whether in the highest role or in the lowest role — is a supreme honour.

The United Nations is not just a building; the United Nations is humanity’s home. The lofty vision of the United Nations is that we all belong to a peace-loving oneness-world-family. This vision will eventually transform the face and fate of the world.

We were delighted and honoured to present Dottoressa Rossella Rea with our Torch-Bearer Award. Her dedicated service as Director of the Colosseum for over 25 years has ensured the world has been able to share in the inspiration of one of the most iconic buildings of the world. The Colosseum brings people of all nations together, inspiring each of us to strive for our own highest potential.

We were very proud to partner with a remarkable association Colori per la pace (Colors for Peace). President Antonio Giannelli explained their initiative was born out of a tragic and traumatic incident towards the end of World War II where an entire village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany, Italy was massacred.

Colours for Peace is a project born to promote peace through cultural exchange between the younger generations. They feel in the childrens drawings the most genuine expression to launch a cry of hope from all over the world.

Artwork from Chula Vista school district in Southern California.

We were delighted to have many Ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps to join us for the launch of the exhibition. We invited each to announce where they were from.

Ms Gildzana Tanovic, Deputy Ambassador, Bosnia And Herzegovina with the microphone.

Ms Sara Crespo, Deputy Head Of Mission, Portugal

Mr Ayad Ali Morad, Consol First Segretary, Republic of Iraq

Mr. Rajib Tripura, First Secretary, First Secretary of Bangladesh

Mr Gustavo Palacio, Deputy Head Of Mission, Ecuador

Mr. Anton Sdobin, Deputy Director, Russian Center of Science and Culture in Rome

Mr Iazeed  Kahlid Al Rshaidan, Third Secretary, Saudi Arabia

Ms Dolphine Ndeda, Deputy Head Of Mission, Kenya

Ms. Gloria Wiseman, Deputy Permanent Representative, Canada

Mr Maybin Mwape, Defence Attaché, Republic of Zambia

Mr Clint Borg, Chargé D'affaires, Malta

Mr Sisira Senavirathne, Deputy Head Of Mission, Sri Lanka

H.E. Ambassador Mr Sergio Romero, Chile

H.E. Ambassador Ms Monica Robelo Raffone, Nicaragua

H.E. Ambassador Mr Ahmed Salim Mohamed Baomar, Oman

H.E. Ambassador Mr Jusuf Jonga Hinna, Nigeria

H.E. Ambassador Ms Solvita Aboltina, Latvia

Mr Akihiko Uchikawa, Minister Deputy Head Of Mission, Japan

Mr Octavian-Gavril Haragos, Counsellor, Romania

We then invited all members of the diplomatic corps to observe a moment of silence while passing the Peace Torch.

Also, joining us were volunteers from Colours for Peace who had worked very hard to collect artworks from their countries.

Korea

Mexico

United Arab Emirates

Peru

Russia

Romania

Guatemala

Peru

Dottoressa Simona Seveso (centre), President  of the City Council of Forte dei Marmi, is reading the memorandum of understanding created by Peace Run to endorse the UN International Day of Peace. The City of Forte dei Marmi is the first City that signed the memorandum.

The Peace Run Choir performed a medley of songs composed on the theme of Peace by Sri Chinmoy.

The President of the Jury of Peace Movie Award, Marco Eugenio Di Giandomenico, presented the winners of the 2019 edition to the audience. Accepting the award on behalf of the winner in the primary school category was Ms Gildzana Tanovic, Deputy Ambassador, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Accepting the award on behalf of the winner in the secondary school category was Ms. Veronica Vonny, First Secretary, Indonesia.

We were delighted that Stacy and Joanna from Chula Vista School District joined us from Southern California. They had bought with them many beautiful works of art from their students. We had met them during a Peace Run in March of this year.