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Community turns out for World Peace Day walk and gathering

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The inaugural X-Roads Peace Games and Walk and Run on Harrington Sound Road. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Members of the community took part in a walk, run and gathering on Wednesday evening in recognition of United Nations Peace Day.

Local activists, religious leaders, sports people and other community members took part in the event in Smith’s, which was sponsored by X-Roads Warriors Football Club and supported by the Bermuda Committee on Human Fraternity.

On Wednesday, the UN invited all countries to participate in the “Global Peace Wave” to reflect on world peace, as “time-zone dominoes, cascading around the globe“. This involved one minute’s silence at noon. The theme of the UN occasion this year is End Racism. Build Peace.

The walk and run started at Warrior Park before heading west along Harrington Sound, on to south shore and back again. It was followed by a community event at the park.

Saleem Talbot, president of X-Roads FC and co-chairman of the Bermuda Committee on Human Fraternity, said there was a great turn out, and that more are planned to help bridge divisions within the island.

He said: “We started the day with the walk and run which was a good icebreaker. Then we went back to field and talked about the significance of the occasion. The UN declaration is simple and clear – end racism and build peace – that is what we are trying to do. There was entertainment and things for the kids to do, we had some food and we released the peace doves.

“The fraternity is open to everyone in Bermuda - the religious, non-religious, Black, White, men, women and children - we have a common ground called humanity. There is only one race and that is the human race.

“The campaign is the X-Roads Peace Games – we recognise that sport is an important part of people’s lives and is a wonderful way to get people together.”

Mr Talbot said a community football game is planned for next month and that more details will be released.

A spokesman for the recent community event said: “The theme selection is based on the premise that transforming racism would foster peace at home and abroad by addressing a significant root cause of conflict.

The inaugural X-Roads Peace Games and Walk and Run on Harrington Sound Road. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“The United Nations Secretary General António Gutteres has been sounding the alarm, regarding the urgency of the current level of global conflict.”

The spokesman referred to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons which took place from August 1 to 26 at the UN headquarters in New York. According to the UN, the conference ended without an outcome document because Russia objected to text about its control over Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

He added: “On August 1, 2022, Gutteres warned that humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation’.

“On August 27, 2022, secretary Gutteres expressed disappointment that countries were unable to reach a consensus on a ‘substantive outcome’. He appealed for all states ‘to use every avenue of dialogue, diplomacy and negotiations to ease tensions’.

“Promoting peace locally is essential given the sustained cycle of violence. As global citizens we join in championing peaceful means to address conflict.”

The UN General Assembly declared World Peace Day as a day to observe non-violence and ceasefire.

Saleem Talbot, the president of the X-Roads Warriors Football Club (File photograph)

There were several local signers of the declaration. They included: The Bermuda Committee on Human Fraternity; Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda; Imagine Bermuda; retired lawyer Dianna Kemp; former premiers Alex Scott and Sir John Swan; and Kristin White, an activist.

The UN said on its website: “Achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race.”

Kristin White is a local social activist (File photograph by Mark Tatem)

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Published September 24, 2022 at 7:50 am (Updated September 24, 2022 at 7:50 am)

Community turns out for World Peace Day walk and gathering

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