Through her work Dr Goodall was appointed a UN messenger of peace. Through Roots & Shoots and JGI we spread the message and celebrate peace. 

21st September - UN International Day of Peace

Photo: Dr. Jane Goodall, an ambassador for peace.

Every year the United Nations celebrate the International Day of Peace.

All Nations and all people are asked to abandon hostility on that day and to commit themselves to peaceful living together.

Dr. Goodall was appointed as UN Messenger of Peace in 2002 by then Secretary General Kofi Annan. As a Messenger of Peace she started a worldwide campaign and appealed to people worldwide to care for their fellow men, to get involved and to live together in peace and harmony.

As a symbol of their commitment she encourages especially children and adolescents to tinker giant “Peace Doves” made of fabrics to let them fly as symbols for global peace longing. Meanwhile thousands of “Peace Doves” fly around the globe at the UN International Day of Peace. Young people in all continents come together to act together with Jane Goodall for a peaceful together.

Whether on the Kilimanjaro, in Kathmandu, in China, Europe or in America, countless people every year set an example and give her longing for peace a wing.

UN International Day of Peace: 2018

International Day of Peace theme for 2018 is "Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All." The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. The Universal Declaration – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages – is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was adopted.

Click here to learn more.

Ways to Celebrate International Day of Peace

Build an official Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots Peace Dove Puppet — Dr. Jane's favorite! Giant Peace Dove Puppets Small Peace Dove Puppets
Make a peace poster and share your artwork and it will be featured on Dr. Jane's Facebook Page.
Decorate a Peace Pole. Peace Pole Guide
Host a Human Library to share diverse perspectives on peace. Human Library Guide
Host an intercultural picnic and contribute to our "Cook in Peace" cookbook. Cook in Peace Guide and JGI's Cook in Peace Cookbook
Celebrate peace through art and theatre. Art in Peace Guide

UN International Day of Peace: 2017

This year’s theme for the UN International Day of Peace is Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All. With this theme in mind, Dr. Jane shared her message of peace.

Roots & Shoots memebrs from around the world also shared their messages of peace, included our JGINZ Roots & Shoots Ambassador, Jacqui Hooper.

Members of the JGINZ National Youth Leadership Council celebrated and shared Peace Day throughout New Zealand

Peace Day mural created by NYLC members Nila & Marie, and students of Massey University. A glorious peace dove surrounded by New Zealand natives.

In honour of Peace Day 2017 the Roots & Shoots club at Massey University, lead by Nila and Marie of the NYLC, put on a celebration for the students and staff. This included painting a large mural of a dove and New Zealand flora and folding origami doves onto which each person wrote their message of peace. It was made possible through the generosity and support of Resene and enthusiasm of club members.

The mural and the doves both represent how a huge global idea can be understood and supported by each person differently.

The event was covered by local media and you can read about it here.

NYLC members Sian and Annemieke invited students and staff at Victoria University to join in making origami peace doves for Peace Day.

The paper used for the doves came from left over University magazines. Not only did this personalise the doves and make them even more appropriate, but was a beautiful way to recycle and celebrate.

This event was hosted in ‘The Bubble’, which is a welcoming and safe space on campus. Participants even  included a dog, who thought he might try to make a dove.

Emilly from our NYLC team organised a shared lunch at her school - the perfect way to celebrate Peace Day whilst in the middle of a exam period. A presentation on peace day was shared before enjoying the lunch. Items for the lunch were gained through sponsorship from their local organic bakeries and trade aid store.

NYLC member Stephen organised students at Otago University to make a large numbers of the small peace doves. The doves were placed outside people’s rooms doors in the halls of residence to promote Peace Day and to symbolise the peaceful world we all hope to live in. 


The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. Its purpose, as stated in the original GA resolution, is:

"[...T]o devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as of the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals of peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways...[The International Day of Peace] should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples."

In 2001, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that established 21 September as the official date for observing the International Day of Peace to be a day of nonviolence and cease-fire. The International Day of Peace is enormously popular around the world. At UN Headquarters, it is celebrated by the ringing of the Japanese Peace Bell by the Secretary-General followed by a Minute of Silence.

Over the years the following elements have been added to the observance:

  • A global student conference that links students from different locations around the United States to students at various Peacekeeping Missions. The conference usually includes the participation of the Secretary-General and his wife, the President of the General Assembly, Messengers of Peace and other guest speakers. The conference aims to raise awareness on the work of the United Nations as it relates to a particular peace-related theme that changes from year to year and to empower young people to participate in building a Culture of Peace by offering them a platform to present their ideas and projects on peace-related issues with the hope that it will inspire their peers to become more involved.
  • A 100-day campaign leading up to the International Day of Peace in order to give the UN Secretariat and non-governmental organizations sufficient time to raise awareness of the Day’s theme prior to 21 September.
  • Participation of the Messengers of Peace in all aspects of the observance.

In addition to events at UN Headquarters, celebrations in support of the International Day of Peace have grown significantly in recent years with a range of high profile international events and programmes developed by non-governmental organizations. Therefore, establishing a unified theme among all stakeholders helps increase the impact of the International Day of Peace on a global level. This theme aims to draw attention to the important contributions that civil society and NGOs have made to the achievement of peace throughout the UN’s existence as well as to highlight the essential role civil society and NGOs will play in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that will guide us on the road to dignity by 2030.

As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently noted at a workshop in Vatican City titled, “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity”: “We share a belief in the inherent dignity of all individuals and the sacred duty to care for and wisely manage our natural capital. And we believe that when people strive toward a common goal, transformational change is possible. That is why we work in partnership with governments, the private sector, civil society and faith-based groups.” The recognition, so clearly articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that belief in “the dignity and worth of the human person” is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world, drives the work of the UN at every level. The theme, “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” aims to both reaffirm this fundamental principle while at the same time draw attention to the contributions that partnerships with governments, the private sector, civil society and faith-based groups have made, throughout the history of the United Nations, to upholding this belief and their importance to achieving the development agenda that is critical to building peace in the coming years. Whether we start with the creation of the UN Charter or the implementation and monitoring of standards established by the UN, partnerships between governments and non-state actors have been vital to the work of the UN organization and will continue to be so in order to galvanize the support of civil society for the Organization in achieving the Future We Want.