International Day of Non-Violence
“I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.”― Mahatma Gandhi International Day of Non-violence, an annual observance focused on disseminating the message of non-violence, coincides with the birth-date of a global peace icon and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of nonviolence; Mahatma Gandhi .
Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, in accordance with Resolution A/RES/61/271, International Day of Non-Violence presents the opportunity "to spread the message of non-violence, through education and public awareness." The resolution affirms the universal importance of the principle of non-violence and the desired “culture of peace, tolerance and understanding.”
Gandhi's Salt March (1930)
By rejecting any and all forms of violence and applying methods of nonviolent resistance in order to achieve social and political change, Mahatma Gandhi inspired a distinct culture of civil and human rights. However, the twentieth century has been heavily plagued and marked by violence. The grim reality is that as the times have evolved, various manifestations of violence have emerged, encouraging aggression and hostilities. Nevertheless, resorting to peaceful means is vital in ensuring durable peace and effective conflict resolution. Acknowledging that the principles of human rights provides the foundation of the work of the Geneva Institute for Human Rights, the Institute strongly rejects the use of any and all manifestations of violence. In that regard, the Institute appeals to all states to reject the use violence, encourage active participation in decision-making, flexible dialogue and transparency to ensure the achieving of social justice without resorting to oppression and violence. This is particularly necessary in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa where violence has unfortunately become a normalized means of action in conflict and emergency situations. Hence, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights stresses the respect of international instruments established for settling disputes, such as :
UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/59/143 (15 December 2004) that invites Member States to “continue to place greater emphasis on and expand their activities promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, at the national, regional and international levels and to ensure that peace and non-violence are fostered at all levels.”
UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/39/11 (12 November 1984) that emphasizes that “ensuring the exercise of the right of peoples to peace demands ... the renunciation of the use of force in international relations and the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.”
The Institute shall tirelessly continue in its endeavor of contributing to global stability, peace and justice, that is only conceivable by the complete rejection of violence and the integration of non-coercive and non-aggressive means of settling disputes.