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October 2 - International Day of Nonviolence

The United Nations created the International Day of Nonviolence to reaffirm “the universal relevance of the principle of nonviolence” and to “secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding, and nonviolence.” The first International Day of Nonviolence was celebrated on October 2, 2007 at the United Nations.

The International Day of Nonviolence is symbolically fixed on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma, Mohandes GANDHI, the Indian thinker and politician who elaborated and applied the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence as early as 1906. This day represents a new step in the United Nations’ ongoing action in support of peace and nonviolence :

  • International Day of Peace, annually on September 21 (since 2001)
  • International Decade for the Promotion of a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010)
  • Program of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 1999

Since 2007, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working for peace and nonviolence have supported the efforts of the United Nations through various local and national events in different countries.

In Switzerland, the first events took place in German-speaking Switzerland on October 2, 2007, followed by the invitation on October 2, 2008 of all NGOs from French-speaking Switzerland and neighboring France to an information day. During this event, the Collective for Peace and Nonviolence was founded for the purpose of organizing public awareness events and activities during the two weeks between September 21, International Day of Peace, and October 2, International Day of Nonviolence. This initiative is the fruit of collaboration between 4 co-founding NGOs : Le CENAC, Eirene, Peace Watch, and Graines de Paix.