African Union (AU), Addis Ababa
On February 2, 2018, the Goi Peace Foundation presented a Peace Pole to H.E. Ambassador Smail Chergui, African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to honor his leadership in promoting peace, security and stability on the African continent. Ambassador Chergui welcomed the Peace Pole with its universal message May Peace Prevail on Earth, saying that it should be permanently placed at the entrance lobby of the Peace and Security Building at the African Union Headquarters, to remind, inspire and encourage the staff as well as visitors to stand for humanity’s collective aspiration for world peace.
On the same day, our sister organization the World Peace Prayer Society co-organized a special event at the African Union Commission Plenary Hall in celebration of the United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week. The occasion was graced by the presence of President of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Mulatu Theshome. A message from Mr. Hiroo Saionji, President of the Goi Peace Foundation, was delivered by our representative to the UN, offering inspirations from the Fuji Declaration to ignite the divine spark in humanity’s consciousness for lasting peace and harmony to prevail on Earth.
International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva
On September 14, 2009, a delegation headed by Goi Peace Foundation Chairperson and President paid a visit to ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and presented a Peace Pole to the organization commemorating its 90th anniversary.
ILO is the global focal point devoted to advancing opportunities for all people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.
In his speech, Mr. Hiroo Saionji congratulated the ILO leaders and staff for their tireless efforts in promoting social justice and human and labour rights. Mr. Assane Diop, ILO Executive Director for the Social Protection Sector, accepted the Peace Pole on behalf of ILO Director-General. He emphasized that ILO’s vision had much in common with the Goi Peace Foundation’s Declaration for All Life on Earth.
Among other guests present at the dedication ceremony were Egyptian Ambassador Hisham Badr and his wife and Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma.
The Organization of The Islamic Conference, Jeddah
On April 3, 2006, the Goi Peace Foundation presented a Peace Pole to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) at its headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The OIC is the political focal point for 57 Muslim Nations spread over five continents and representing almost one fifth of the world population. The Peace Pole was dedicated in recognition of the OIC’s outstanding commitment to the creation of a Culture of Peace and for building a global alliance of solidarity among Muslim Nations as well as for safeguarding the dignity and independence of all Muslim people.
He also highlighted that the Peace Pole was received at a most opportune time in the history of the OIC. The ambitious Ten-Year Programme of Action adopted by the Third Extraordinary Islamic Summit Conference held in December 2005 elaborates a new vision for the OIC to develop its own conflict prevention system as well as to strengthen multilateral cooperation with the outside world including the NGOs. The Goi Peace Foundation was honored to be one of the first of such NGOs to be cooperating with the organization.
The Andean Community, Lima
On July 12, 2005, a Peace Pole was dedicated at the Andean Community General Secretariat in Lima, Peru on the occasion of the first anniversary of the presidential declaration establishing the Andean Zone of Peace. As of 2006, the Andean Community is an intergovernmental organization of four member countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru that have decided to join together voluntarily for the purpose of achieving more rapid, more balanced and autonomous development through Andean, South American and Latin American integration.
The Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony was attended by ambassadors and governmental representatives of the Andean Community member countries, officials of the General Secretariat, as well as Peruvian parliamentarians, academics and civil society leaders. Secretary General Allan Wagner Tizón stressed in his commemorative speech the Community’s strong commitment to establish peace and harmony within its region of influence. It was Ambassador Wagner’s decision to dedicate the Peace Pole with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the indigenous languages of Aymara and Quechua on the one hand, and Spanish and Portuguese on the other. The monument thus links the old and new civilizations, serving as a “mediator” between both worlds and traditions, so that true peace can prevail in this beautiful region. The Secretary General stated that he will have every State guest at the Andean Community General Secretariat visit the Peace Pole.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva
On the occasion of Human Rights Day (December 10, 2003), marking the 55th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, a Peace Pole was dedicated in a ceremony at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, launching commemorative events organized by the UN in both Geneva and New York. The six-sided Peace Pole, displaying the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the six official UN languages, was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Saionji to the Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Bertrand Ramcharan, in recognition of the OHCHR’s relentless dedication to the protection and promotion of human rights for all.
Following a minute of silence led by Mrs. Saionji in memory of the late High Commissioner Sergio Vieira de Mello who lost his life in Baghdad, Mr. Ramcharan delivered a speech in which he noted the common mission shared by the OHCHR and the Goi Peace Foundation: namely to create a peaceful and just world for all by raising the awareness of human rights, fundamental freedoms, respect and tolerance. He also added his hope that this event would be the beginning of a fruitful cooperation between the two organizations.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva
On July 14, 2003, a Peace Pole was presented to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Dr. Ruud Lubbers by the Goi Peace Foundation Chairperson and President in recognition of UNHCR’s humanitarian achievements and efforts to find peaceful solutions to humanitarian crises. During the ceremony in the UNHCR Atrium attended by UNHCR officials, the High Commissioner stated that efforts to resolve conflicts and build peace around the world are vital in achieving the goal of UNHCR. The hexagonal Peace Pole is inscribed with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the six official languages of the United Nations.
World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva
On July 11, 2003 a Peace Pole dedication ceremony took place at the headquarters of the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. In attendance were Mr. and Mrs. Saionji, WHO Director General Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland and other WHO officials. During the dedication ceremony, Mr. Saionji stressed the important role the WHO is playing in the improvement of global health and commended its achievements during the last five years under Dr. Brundtland’s leadership; which have included dealing with the recent challenge of SARS, as well as the ongoing problems of Malaria, HIV/AIDS and tobacco control.
Dr. Brundtland said in her speech that good health ensures people a life of dignity and peace, and in the absence of good health, nations cannot prosper and their people cannot fulfill their potential. She stressed that therefore, the Goi Peace Foundation and the WHO shared the same goal.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna
On July 10, 2003 a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony took place at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. The IAEA is an intergovernmental institution created in the 1950’s to ensure the safe and peaceful development of nuclear technologies. Mr. and Mrs. Saionji presented the Peace Pole to the IAEA Acting Director General Mr. David Waller, with close to 40 IAEA officials attending the ceremony.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Waller noted the similarities between the Goi Peace Foundation and the IAEA, stating that both organizations had the same roots being founded after the devastation witnessed through the use of atomic bombs, in the hope of creating a peaceful and secure world. Mr. Walker stated that the six-sided Peace Pole will be placed in the Plaza of the Vienna International Center, home of various UN organizations such as the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Vienna
On January 30, 2003, the Goi Peace Foundation presented a Peace Pole to OPEC at its Headquarters in Vienna, Austria. This was in recognition of the organization’s contribution to world peace and sustainable development, by promoting oil market stability and international cooperation in improving the welfare of people around the world. OPEC Secretary General Dr. Alvaro Silva Calderon accepted the Peace Pole in a ceremony attended by OPEC Governors, officials and staff members as well as delegates of Member Countries.
International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington, DC
On December 19, 2002, a Peace Pole was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Saionji to the IMF Managing Director, Mr. Horst Koehler in the IMF Gallery at the organization’s headquarters. The IMF, consisting of 184 member countries, promotes international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; in order to foster economic growth and high levels of employment. The IMF also provides temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment.
The Peace Pole was dedicated to the IMF to honor the organization’s contribution to the creation of a Culture of Peace and global prosperity. In the ceremony attended by IMF officials and guests, Mr. Koehler gave an inspiring acceptance speech, while the IMF Spouse Choral Group graced the occasion with their performance and the youth representatives read their essays on the topic of peace.
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Kathmandu
On the occasion of the 17th anniversary of SAARC Charter Day, a Peace Pole was dedicated at the SAARC Secretariat on December 10, 2002. The same day is also observed worldwide as the Human Rights Day. SAARC provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, and aims to accelerate the process of economic and social development amongst its Member States, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
SAARC Secretary General Mr. Q.A.M.A. Rahim accepted the Peace Pole and unveiled it in the presence of SAARC officials and Heads of Mission. The Peace Pole is inscribed with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in all the languages of the SAARC Member States.
President of the United Nations General Assembly, New York
On October 25, 2002, the Goi Peace Foundation presented a Peace Pole to H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan, President of the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The six-sided Peace Pole is inscribed with the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the six official UN languages. Mr. Kavan accepted the Peace Pole commenting that the activities of the Goi Peace Foundation were concurrent with the promotion of the fundamental values of the United Nations, and that the Foundation’s work was valuable in connecting peoples sharing common ideals.
World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva
On July 22, 2002, a Peace Pole was presented by Mr. Saionji to the World Trade Organization Director General Mr. Mike Moore at the WTO Secretariat in Geneva. This was in honor of the WTO’s contribution to improving the multilateral trading system and the welfare of the peoples living in the WTO member states. The six-sided Peace Pole was dedicated in the WTO’s inner courtyard, with Deputy Director Generals and other WTO officials attending the ceremony.
Pacific Islands Forum, Suva
On February 22, 2002, a Peace Pole was presented to the Pacific Island Forum at its Secretariat in Suva, Fiji, in recognition of the Forum’s collective effort in promoting peace and harmony in the region and beyond. Secretary General Mr. Noel Levi unveiled the Peace Pole in a ceremony attended by about 200 guests, including the ambassadors of the Forum’s member states, Fiji government officials, media representatives, and students of the University of the South Pacific. The Peace Pole will be displayed in the Secretariat “Fale” during the conference of the Heads of States in March, 2002, after which it will be planted in a prominent place on the Secretariat’s grounds.
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Minsk
On January 16, 2002, a Peace Pole dedication ceremony was held at the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) in Minsk, Belarus. The ceremony commemorated the 10th anniversary of the regional organization, comprised of 12 sovereign states, which emerged from the former Soviet Union. Mr. and Mrs. Saionji presented the Peace Pole to the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, H.E. Mr. Yuri Yarov, to commemorate CIS’s leading role in creating a Culture of Peace in the region.
All Permanent Representatives of the member states, as well as representatives of the 12 foreign ministries, CIS staff, representatives of the Belarussian government and the media attended the ceremony, which took place in the historic Round Hall at the CIS headquarters, where the CIS Charter was signed.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, Bucharest
To mark the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council Summit at the Romanian Parliament in Bucharest on December 2, 2001, a Peace Pole was presented to the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Hon. Adrian Severin. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly brings together parliamentarians from the 55 participating States to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue and cooperation. The Peace Pole symbolizes the important role parliamentarians are playing to create and secure peace, stability and prosperity in Europe.
The World Bank Group, Washington, DC
On November 26, 2001, a Peace Pole was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Saionji to the World Bank President James Wolfensohn at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The World Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance and is dedicated to creating a world free of poverty. World Bank officials, scientists, religious representatives and economists alike attended this momentous ceremony. Youth representatives from the Georgetown Day School also contributed to the ceremony through music and art and their eloquent testimonies to peace.
League of Arab States, Cairo
During Ramadan, on November 22, 2001, a Peace Pole dedication ceremony was held at the League of Arab States headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. and Mrs. Saionji presented a Peace Pole to the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, H.E. Mr. Amre Mussa. The event was attended by the Ambassadors of the 22 member states of the League as well as their children, staff members and various media representatives.
Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, DC
On August 16, 2001, a Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony took place in the US capital at the headquarters of the Organization of American States, in the Hall of Heroes. This special event was held to celebrate a Culture of Peace and Democracy in the Americas. On the day, the OAS Democratic Charter was launched and was presented by all the Permanent Representatives to the OAS. The OAS is an intergovernmental organization consisting of 34 member states within the American hemisphere. Mr. and Mrs. Saionji presented a Peace Pole to the OAS Assistant Secretary-General Ambassador Luigi Enaudi. Also in attendance was H.E. Mr. Hernan Castro, Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council.
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Jakarta
The Association of South East Asian Nations consists of 10 nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In line with the ASEAN Vision 2020 for a “Zone of Peace,” a Peace Pole was presented by Mr. and Mrs. Saionji to the ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Severino on January 29, 2001. Ambassadors of the member states and ASEAN staff members also attended the ceremony.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Secretariat, Vienna
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe encompasses 55 participating European and western Asian nations plus the United States and Canada. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding Helsinki Final Act Treaty, which was signed in 1975 to overcome the effects of the Cold War, a Peace Pole was presented to the OSCE Secretary-General H.E. Mr. Jan Kubis on December 18, 2000 at the OSCE headquarters in Vienna.
United Nations, New York
Millennium Peace Day was observed on September 18, 2000, in honor of the International Day of Peace. The UN Department of Public Information, the World Peace Prayer Society and Pathways to Peace created their annual event for children at the United Nations in celebration of this day. School children were greeted by Mrs. Nane-Annan, wife of the UN Secretary-General. Mrs. Nohora Puyana de Pastrana, First Lady of Colombia, Nobel Peace Laureate Ms. Betty Williams, and UN General Assembly President Mr. Harri Holkeri were also among the participants.
In the World Peace Flag Ceremony, children raised the flags of all UN Member States, and sent peace to each country, with the declaration “May Peace Prevail in the United Nations!” A child then rang a Peace Bell to mark a Minute of Silence, launching the Decade of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), Paris
The International Organisation of the Francophonie is an intergovernmental alliance with 51 French-speaking member states and 4 observer states. The OIF is working for peace, democracy, human rights, education, cultural diversity and for economic development among its member states. On July 16, 2000, a Peace Pole was presented to the OIF Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in Paris in recognition of the organization’s achievements in promoting peace within the French-speaking world.
United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON)
On February 4, 2000, a Peace Pole was dedicated at the United Nations Office at Nairobi in the Garden of Remembrance for victims of the US Embassy bombings there and in Dar es Salaam in the previous year. UNON Director-General Klaus Topfer, together with the Mayor of Nairobi, led the gathering of over 300 people in reciting “May Peace Prevail on Earth” for each continent of the world, as the flags of the 188 UN nations were raised by the National Students Council for Peace. The Peace Pole donated by the World Peace Prayer Society carries the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the six official UN languages. The Peace Pole has since become a focal point of peace events at UNON.