He decided to explore these through the medium of film, and specifically, to create a documentary following his campaign to establish an annual day of ceasefire and non violence.
In 1999, Jeremy founded Peace One Day, a non-profit organisation, and in 2001 Peace One Day’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September annually – Peace Day.
With the day in place, Peace One Day is working to institutionalise Peace Day, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.
Peace Day has already been proven as a window for life-saving activities; in 2007, Gilley and POD ambassador Jude travelled to Afghanistan to spearhead an initiative that has resulted in the vaccination against polio of 4.5 million children following Peace Day agreements by all parties in the region in 2007/8/9. This work forms the culmination of Gilley’s feature documentary The Day After Peace. Peace One Day is officially launched at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Ahmad Fawzi, Director of the UN Information Centre and Mark Rylance, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, make speeches. The event is attended mostly by Jeremy’s friends and is largely ignored by the press.
In 2000,Peace One Day successfully gains support from Nobel Peace Laureate and former President Dr. Oscar Arias, former President Don Rodrigo Carazo Odio, Maurice Strong, Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary-General and Chairman of the Earth Council and Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant to the UN Secretary-General and Chancellor Emeritus at the University for Peace in Costa Rica.
Peace One Day undertakes field missions in Burundi and Somalia to learn about the practical implications of day of peace. In Tanzania Peace One Day attends the Arusha Peace Talks, chaired by Nelson Mandela. Presidents, high-level UN staff, top governmental and non-governmental officials give their support to the creation of a United Nations global ceasefire day, including OAU (now former) Secretary-General Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim.
Nobel Peace Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama invites the Peace One Day team to meet with him in India. There he offers profound guidance and expresses his support for the initiative. Peace One Day meets with representatives in India and Sri Lanka at UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNHCR, and various UN Information Centres, all of who support the creation of the Day.
In 2001, Peace One Day met with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan at UN Headquarters. He expressed his support for the creation of a United Nations global ceasefire/non-violence day and suggested practical steps that could be taken once achieved.
Peace One Day meets the (now former) UK Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, John Battle. As a key minister in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Battle speaks about the UK’s support for the Day and says the UK government would consider whether to become a sponsor at the next General Assembly.
Peace One Day meets with Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She offers her support for the initiative and speaks about the practical opportunities a Peace Day could hold.
A meeting is held with the Executive Director of UNICEF, Carol Bellamy, who expresses her support for the Day.
New York, September 2001
A new resolution (55/282), co-sponsored by the UK and Costa Rican governments, is unanimously adopted in the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York establishing the United Nations International Day of Peace as an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence with a fixed calendar date – 21st September.
Meetings are held with Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, Interim Head of UN Department of Public Information Shashi Tharoor and Executive Director of UNICEF Carol Bellamy. Discussions focus on the forthcoming day of global ceasefire and non-violence and its practical observance.
Geneva, December 2001
A meeting is held with Director General of The International Committee for the Red Cross, Paul Grossrieder. The ICRC commit to promoting awareness of the day of global ceasefire and non-violence, both within the organization and outside.
Brussels, December 2001
A meeting is held with the Secretary-General of CARE International, Guy Tousignant. Discussions focus on CARE’s practical involvement in the lead up to the first ever UN ceasefire/non-violence Day.
“Over 100 million people, in over a hundred countries are marking the day, today [21 September 2007] in many different ways,” says Ahmad Fawzi, Director of United Nations News and Media Division, speaking at Peace One Day’s Royal Albert Hall event.
Peace Day activities around the world include vaccination campaigns, peace walks, peace related discussions and debates, poetry readings, peace prayer ceremonies, art exhibitions and memorial services. Schools hold assemblies, watch the Peace One Day film and sing the Song for Peace, football matches are held to promote peace and interaction, and much more.
In Afghanistan, The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the Ministry of Public Health, provide children with the monovalent P3 polio vaccine in southern Afghanistan and selected areas in eastern Afghanistan, with discussions led by the Governor of Kandahar, as a result of which 1.4 million children are vaccinated. UNICEF and youth volunteers from the Afghan Red Crescent Society organise a Peace Walk through the streets of Herat, followed by a youth debate on what needs to be done in Afghanistan for peace to work. There are arms handover ceremonies, prayers for peace in mosques, schools painted white and education activities. A large tract of land, cleared of mines and ready for cultivation, is handed over to the local community.
Star Syringe provide safe immunisation camps in 20 locations, up from ten in 2006, from India to Ethiopia to Indonesia, vaccinating children in rural and hard to reach areas, against measles, diphtheria, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and whooping cough. In St Francis Hospital, Uganda Star Syringe immunise close to 1,000 children for the BCG TB vaccine. In Iraq, Civil Dialogue plant olive trees and hold a memorial service for all the Iraqi youth who have lost their lives due to conflict. In Thailand, Jungceylon, Phuket, children create a 10 metre giant peace wall to inspire peace.
In the DRC, UNICEF lead an integrated immunisation campaign; vitamin A, de-worming and mosquito net distribution benefit over 600,000 children in the conflict affected South Kivu province. Other agencies are involved including DFID, PSI and USAID, Government of Japan, UN Foundation, WHO, AXxes, MOH + Drive Against Malaria.
In 2010, Peace One Day has the opportunity to give a Cross-Whitehall Presentation to various sectors of the UK government, including the Department of Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Cabinet Office (Counter-Terrorism), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Counter-Terrorism) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (Preventing Extremism).
Peace is not a dream, it is a reality. Let us all consciously create peace by focusing on our desires for unity and unconditional love. Love is the highest energy frequency and love has the power to heal our planet.
To find out more of the amazing work Jeremy Gilley is doing with Peace One Day: http://peaceoneday.org/en/welcome