Kuron Peace Village hosts Peace Day event
17 September 2013 - Hundreds of people today celebrated the International Day of Peace in a ceremony held at the Holy Trinity Peace Village of Kuron in Eastern Equatoria State.
State government officials also participated in the celebrations, which were organized by UNMISS and hosted by the founder and director of Kuron Peace Village, Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban.
"Kuron is a symbol of peace and co-existence," said UNMISS Eastern Equatoria State Coordinator Hiroko Mosko. "This village is an example of how people can live together despite their differences."
Deputy State Governor Jerome Gama Surur also encouraged residents of the peace village to "continue to be examples of peace."
"We appreciate the support we have been getting from UNMISS to our work at the Peace Village," said Bishop Taban, winner of this year's Sergio Vieira de Mello Prize that is awarded annually by the UN. "They recognize what we do here and have been very helpful."
He noted that the peace village had helped to unify people and foster peace among communities which had been in conflict.
Bishop Taban received the peace prize from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 1 March in Geneva, in recognition of his efforts and accomplishments in promoting understanding between people of different faiths and ethnicity.
"The achievement of peace in the Holy Trinity Peace Village... is a model to be emulated in other hotspots of South Sudan," said UNMISS chief Hilde F. Johnson in a statement issued at the time. "Its unifying potential is all the more vital for the future of the country."
International Peace Day has been observed worldwide each year on 21 September since the UN General Assembly declared it to be a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace.
In a 100-day countdown message last June, Mr. Ban said the International Day of Peace "offers an opportunity for the world to pause, reflect and consider how best to break the vicious cycle of violence that conflict creates".