Johannesburg, 21 September 2014 – The tranquil grounds of the Heia Safari Lodge on the outskirts of Johannesburg provided the setting for a moving International Day of Peace commemoration on 21 September 2014.
Over 1800 people, including many children, attended a free open-air concert, featuring some of the top South African musicians and bands. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Pretoria was once again part of the commemoration, which was organized by the NGO, Peace Starts.
UNIC National Information Officer Sudeshan Reddy delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General for the International Day of Peace. In his remarks prior to delivering the message, Mr. Reddy highlighted the need for ordinary people to mobilise around the cause of peace, to challenge those that perpetuate violence and to support organisations and individuals who are actively promoting peace in their communities.
Handing over a bronze artwork depicting Nelson Mandela, Cito Otto, founder of Peace Starts and a renowned musician himself, noted that “the presence of the United Nations here today reminds us of why peace is so very important, perhaps now more than ever.” He concluded that “peace is not just the responsibility of our governments, but the responsibility of each and every South African”.