The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

One Day in Peace

Senator Paul Wellstone

Mr. President, I introduce today on behalf of myself and Senators Lieberman, Kennedy, Reid, Moynihan, Levin, and Landrieu, a resolution to designate January 1, 2001, and every following January 1st, as a day of peace and reconciliation among all peoples of the world. The purpose of this resolution is to create a day of peaceful celebration across the world and in our backyards, as well as a day for sharing food with others whose lives we normally do not touch in a personal way.

"One Day in Peace," a pledge of no violence in our homes, neighborhoods, and battlefields, on January 1, 2000, was supported by over 100 nations, twenty-five U.S. governors, hundreds of mayors worldwide, and over 1,000 organizations in nearly 140 countries, as well as the UN General Assembly. It worked and the new millennium was ushered in with a day of peace worldwide.

At the same time, another event, The Millennium Meal Project, an international effort to use the tradition of breaking bread to promote peace and end hunger, was officially endorsed by the White House, members of both the House and Senate, the World Peace/Inner Peace Conference, and the Jubillenium World Conference on Religion and Peace featuring nineteen diverse faiths and went exceedingly well this past January 1, 2000.

Now these two initiatives have joined together in order to encourage people all over the world, through sharing of a special meal, to reach out to one another for "One Day" by creating an environment of peace and mutualism. Since the beginning of recorded history, breaking bread together has been seen as a tradition when people from opposing sides can sit down and learn about one another in a peaceful manner.

Particularly we as Senators need to put aside our differences, on both sides of the aisle, to discover and celebrate our commonalities in order to prepare ourselves for working more harmoniously during the 107th Congress to solve the critical problems of both violence and hunger in our nation and in our world. We know, all too well, that children around the world and at home are going to bed hungry, and that our children are often afraid to go to school.

Let us make "One Day" a special time of reflection, to eliminate hunger and violence for children and families throughout the world, by sharing our prosperity and friendship with people from all backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. This day should be held high in importance to celebrate our diversities and differences, rather than emphasizing them as barriers between us.

I hope this resolution will be adopted unanimously.

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Whereas human progress in the twenty-first century will depend upon global understanding and cooperation in finding positive solutions to hunger and violence;

Whereas the turn of the millennium offers unparalleled opportunity for humanity to examine its past, set goals for the future, and establish new patterns of behavior;

Whereas the people of the United States and the world observed the day designated by the United Nations General Assembly as "One Day in Peace, January 1, 2000" (General Assembly Resolution 54/29);

Whereas the example set on that day ought to be recognized globally and repeated each year;

Whereas the people of the United States seek to establish better relations with one another and with the people of all countries; and

Whereas celebration by the breaking of bread together traditionally has been the means by which individuals, societies, and nations join together in peace: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that —

(1) each year should begin with a day of peace and sharing during which —

(A) people around the world should gather with family, friends, neighbors, their faith community, or people of another culture to pledge nonviolence in the new year and to share in a celebratory new year meal; and

(B) Americans who are able should match or multiply the cost of their new year meal with a timely gift to the hungry at home or abroad in a tangible demonstration of a desire for increased friendship and sharing among people around the world; and

(2) the President should issue a proclamation each year calling on the people of the United States and interested organizations to observe such a day with appropriate programs and activities.

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[Redactor's Note: Senate Concurrent Resolution 138 was agreed to by unanimous consent in the Senate on 27 October 2000 and was agreed to without objection in the House of Representatives on 15 December 2000.]

[Taken from the Congressional Record, 21 September 2000, page S8959.]