The road ends, but the journey continues...

2021 International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

2021 Theme: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.

The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.

In line with the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire last March, in February 2021 the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for Member States to support a “sustained humanitarian pause” to local conflicts. The global ceasefire must continue to be honoured, to ensure people caught in conflict have access to lifesaving vaccinations and treatments.

The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another.

And we must make peace with nature. Despite the travel restrictions and economic shutdowns, climate change is not on pause. What we need is a green and sustainable global economy that produces jobs, reduces emissions, and builds resilience to climate impacts.

The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.”

I was in High School in Boulder, Colorado when this song was first released – I’m still on that Peace Train!

“Everyone jump upon the Peace Train” – let’s make this world a better place.
Happy International Day of Peace. One Love!!!

playing for change

Credits from Playing for Change: “Peace Train” – Yusuf / Cat Stevens’ timeless anthem of hope and unity – was originally released on the classic album ‘Teaser and the Firecat’ in 1971 and was Stevens’ first US Top 10 hit, reaching number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This Song Around The World version features more than 25 musicians from 12 countries and unites Yusuf / Cat Stevens, singing and playing a beautiful white piano in a tranquil open air setting in Istanbul, Turkey, with musicians such as five time Grammy Award winning blues/americana artist Keb’ Mo’; Grammy nominated Senegalese artist Baaba Maal; Silkroad’s Rhiannon Giddens—also a Grammy Award winner; Ghassan Birumi playing the oud in Ramallah, Palestine; musicians from the Silkroad Ensemble in Rhinebeck, New York; Pat Simmons (The Doobie Brothers) and James “Hutch” Hutchinson (bass player with Bonnie Raitt) performing in Maui, Hawaii; and bringing together conflict regions with Tushar Lall playing the harmonium in Delhi, India, and Joshua Amjad playing the Kartaal in Karachi, Pakistan.


  1. Lavinia Ross

    The video is beautiful! I remember the album and the song well.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Me, too!

  2. marissthequilter

    My heart is full after reading your post and listening to that remarkable musical collaboration. I’m on board

    • laura bruno lilly

      Next stop – Grahamstown, SA!

  3. zippyquilts

    Nice post. And I still love Yusef/Cat Stevens.

  4. Khaya Ronkainen

    I’m a bit late, but Happy International Day of Peace! I really hope we could all pull together for a peaceful world. An inspiring post Laura, thank you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Khaya. It’s never too late to stop by and say hi!

  5. tierneycreates: a fusion of textiles and smiles

    Beautiful Laura!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Tierney!

  6. Jennie

    Wonderful post, Laura. I love the Cat Stevens song!

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m sure most of your kiddos would love to “jump on the Peace Train”!

      • Jennie


  7. Annika Perry

    Laura, an uplifting and up beat video and thank you for sharing about International Peace Day! Their heart is in the right place and a start I suppose … let’s hope we some time achieve a peaceful existence!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Agreed, Annika!
      Take care

  8. Marty

    Right on with this, Laura. The pandemic has only magnified the problems we have with impacts on the most vulnerable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cat Stevens/Yusuf play keyboards before!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Excellent one-sentence summary Marty on the reality of being ‘in the same STORM but not the same boat’

  9. Jane's Heartsong

    I have seen and heard many of these artists-wow, brought a flood of memories. I shared on FB-is that okay? I opened this late, but think it is never too late for peace.

    • laura bruno lilly

      A-okay! I am a subscriber to ‘Playing for Change’ they always have great collaborations – this video is just one of many you can listen to/watch if you’re interested.

      • Jane's Heartsong

        I am familiar with “Playing for Change.” Will look those series up again.

  10. Andy

    The irony of taking time out from killing each other to try and save each other. This is the world we live in.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Spot-on, Manc bud. I guess you could call it a ‘stab’ at trying to make things right. (pun intended)

  11. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    What a wonderful word…Peace! Beautiful post, Laura. Love the video. <3 Hoping for a more peaceful and just tomorrow! All the best!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Glad you enjoyed the vid…Take care, Cheryl.

  12. rl2b2017

    LOVE, love, love this message and video!!! Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing it. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re quite welcome, Roseanne.

  13. L. Marie

    Oh Laura! Great post! And so timely. I absolutely loved the “Peace Train” video. I always love seeing people all over the world singing together. We need peace, but mostly, we need God.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Indeed. That is an underlying, tacit tenet of my (our) life view.

  14. anne54

    Thank you! This message and the video was just what I needed today. I’m on the Peace Train too. ?

  15. Chela's Colchas y Mas

    Thank you for this post. All Aboard the Peace Train.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Next stop…Texas!!!

  16. petespringerauthor

    What a powerful video! It’s great that Yusuf/Cat Stevens contributed to the message, but I also loved how people from around the word were included. Save me a spot on the Peace Train, Laura. I’m so glad that you mentioned the inequities of living in a developed country. Many of us are so spoiled we can’t appreciate how good we have it compared to others.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Right on, bro! There’s room for all you Springers!

  17. Janis @

    I love the idea of an International Day of Peace. Maybe one day it will stick.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m with ya, Janis!

  18. Frank @ Beach Walk Reflections

    Awesome post, Lisa … and the video is perfect. Love it so much, it’s tagged as a possible beach walk video! Hope all is well with you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Wow – what compliment – hope you’re enjoying improvised ‘beach walks’ away from your beloved beaches.
      ps-I’m Laura not Lisa…but a dear sister-friend of mine is Lisa and also Italian like us!

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