Yesterday was the 7th annual International Day of Peace, and the UN Secretary-General, along with hundreds of peace lovers and cellphone users around the world, marked the occasion by sending the following text message:
“On 21 September, the International Day of Peace, I call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger, and for all human rights for all.”
Almost 2000 texters worldwide typed out messages of peace, which were collected on this website and will be shared with world leaders when they meet for the General Assembly tomorrow.
Mobile technology is already being used to overwhelming effect in relief and humanitarian operations; while texting for peace may seem a more abstract venture, this may just represent the next frontier in harnessing the power of information sharing and electronic communications to help achieve real peace on the ground. Some of the potential of this innovative strategy can already be seen in Afghanistan, where the avid preparations for the International Day of Peace did not disappoint, as guns fell silent across the violent country yesterday. If even Taliban insurgents are taking these text messages to heart, I think we can be sure that others will, too.