“Seven Minutes of World Peace” heralded the upcoming UN International Day of Peace with a global seven-minute observance of Peace on 17 September 2020. This moment of peace was observed by many around the world simultaneously on that day, through prayer, meditation or simply a heartfelt yearning for peace.
“Peace will come about in the world from the perfection of individuals, one person at a time,” the founder of the event, Sri Chinmoy once noted. “If we can invoke Peace and then offer it to somebody else, we will see how Peace expands from one to two persons, and gradually to the world at large.”
Seven Minutes of World Peace was timed to precede the Peace Bell Ceremony at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The UN Peace Bell ceremony itself rings in the “International Day of Peace”, which officially occurs on September 21 on an annual basis.
The “Seven Minutes of World Peace” was inaugurated in 1984 by Sri Chinmoy. The initial yearly event called attention to 24 October as United Nations Day and encouraged silent prayer, meditation or reflection for seven minutes of world peace. Since its inception, numerous individuals and groups around the world have participated, and letters and proclamations have been received from Heads of State, governors and mayors.
This year’s 2020 observance included a virtual opening ceremony with Aye Aye Thant, the daughter of third United Nations Secretary-General U Thant, who had invited Sri Chinmoy in 1970 to begin offering meditations for delegates and staff at UN Headquarters. A highly respected peacemaker, U Thant also began the custom of ringing the Peace Bell on the Spring Equinox. The 20-minute virtual opening ceremony of Seven Minutes of World Peace also showcased Japanese students explaining the significance of the UN Peace Bell, which was inspired by Chiyoji Nakagawa and donated by the United Nations Association of Japan. The virtual ceremony featured performances of Sri Chinmoy’s peace-poems, chants and one of his musical compositions on peace.
For a condensed version of the virtual Zoom ceremony, please visit: Seven Minutes of World Peace virtual ceremony. For more background information, please visit: Seven Minutes of World Peace background information.