NZ lights torch for peace
16 Sep 2009
A global peace movement is set to take its first steps in New Zealand this week when a flame lit during a ceremony in Waitakere, West Auckland begins a journey that will take it to more than 90 countries.
Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey is to ignite a ‘nuclear abolition flame’ - originally lit from the Peace Flame in Hiroshima - which will be carried during the World March for Peace and Non-violence beginning in New Zealand on September 17.
The march is supported by 3000 member cities of Mayors for Peace and organisers say New Zealand has been chosen as the starting point for the march because of its peaceful legacy.
Message for children
The flame lighting ceremony will take place in front of a full assembly at Glen Eden Intermediate School in West Auckland and will involve World Peace March representatives from around New Zealand.
Lighting the ‘nuclear abolition flame’ at the school has special significance, says Mayor Harvey.
"This flame is a message about what kind of world we want these children to inherit.
"It is also a challenge. Our homes, neighbourhoods and schools are responsible for passing on a peaceful culture. But our children will be responsible for living it. They have to make a peaceful future a reality," he said.
Torch for peace
The World March for Peace and Non-violence will take the ‘nuclear abolition flame’ to more than 90 countries.
It will travel from Waitakere to the Andes Mountains in South America before being presented to the United Nations.
Alyn Ware, New Zealand Coordinator for the World March, says New Zealand’s stance on nuclear weapons formed the basis for its peaceful reputation.
"New Zealand led the world in going nuclear free and is the only country with a Minister for Disarmament," he says.
"We hope the march will publicise the many positive initiatives that are promoting peace, resolving conflicts and preventing violence in our homes, schools and communities - across the nation and around the world."
The flame lighting ceremony will begin with a performance by Sala-Marlene Tyler, the winner of the NZ Secondary Schools Song writing competition, Peace Song category.
World March for Peace
The World March is the first to circle the earth calling for the end of war and nuclear weapons, and the elimination of violence of all kinds -physical, economic, racial, religious, cultural, sexual, psychological.
It begins in Wellington, New Zealand on 2 October, the anniversary of Gandhi’s birth and declared the International Day of Non-violence by the United Nations.
The March will last 90 days, travelling through 90 countries over all six continents, celebrated by activities and events involving millions of people along and beyond its route. It will pass through all climates and seasons, from the hot summer of the tropics and deserts, to the icy cold of Siberia and Antarctica.
It will end in the Andes Mountains (Punta de Vacas, Aconcagua, Argentina) on January 2, 2010.
These topics may also be of interest to you