In 1999, actor turned filmmaker Jeremy Gilley set out to document his efforts to create an annual Peace Day. To this end he founded the non-profit organisation Peace One Day. In 2001 the organisation’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. Since 2001, Peace One Day’s objective has been to institutionalise Peace Day 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on an unprecedented scale. To support this objective, in 2007, in Afghanistan, Peace One Day’s collaboration with UNAMA, UNICEF, WHO and other UN agencies resulted in a ceasefire observed by all parties, including the Taliban. 4.5 million children were vaccinated against polio in Afghanistan due to Peace Day agreements.
In 2014 Peace One Day launched a 3-year project in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The goal was to raise awareness of Peace Day and encourage all sectors of society in the region to stand together in the name of peace on 21 September. In 2016, after several years work with global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, it was estimated that 2.2 billion people had been exposed to the Peace Day message, that 940 million were aware of the day and that 16 million behaved more peacefully as a result.
Through initiatives and collaborations, Peace One Day continues to encourage organisations and individuals to reduce violence at home, in the workplace, at school, in our communities and towards our environment. Peace One Day’s goal for 2025 is to reach 3 billion people with the message of Peace Day. Peace One Day is impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion, corporation or religious creed.