"I believe that unless we have that sense of solidarity among the peoples of the world, all our efforts of peace and security will go nowhere," Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the leading emissary of the U.N. Culture of Peace initiative, said on receiving a petition signed by more than 50,000 people from 168 countries.
Oneness brings about an appreciation of humanity's interdependence, which supports tolerance, understanding and solidarity, necessary steps toward peace, Chowdhury, a former undersecretary-general and high representative of the United Nations, said at an indoor ceremony at U.N. headquarters in front of the Chagall Peace Window.
The proposed Oneness Day -- which petition initiator Humanity's Team and supporters say they hope, with U.N. member state support, will become a General Assembly resolution -- would provide opportunities for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts demonstrating unity, diversity, harmony and compassion on a shared date, comparable to what happens on Earth Day, Humanity's Team said.
"The awareness that even with our differences we are all one -- and the creation of behavioral codes and international agreements reflecting this awareness -- would shift the political, economic and spiritual reality so humanity can finally realize the dream it has had since time immemorial of a world living in peace, harmony and happiness," Humanity's Team Worldwide Coordinating Director Steve Farrell said in a statement.
Chowdhury, who said he was "most deeply touched" on receiving the petition, said he believed the Oneness Day groundswell would "grow every year -- by millions."