The world must change from a "culture of force, of imposition, of domination," marked by a sense of separation, to a "culture of dialogue, of conciliation, of alliance," marked by oneness or unity, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, a former director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said in a video released Monday on the second annual Global Oneness Day.
Humanity must become "permanently aware" that people are different but are part of a whole and "have a common destiny" and therefore "must act altogether" for life as we know it to be preserved, much less renewed and transformed, said Mayor Zaragoza, Foundation for a Culture of Peace chairman.
This awareness can empower people "to actually get the planet to work," said Institute for Sacred Activism founder Andrew Harvey, who was to participate with Mayor Zaragoza and about 40 other advocates -- including actress Sharon Stone and singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins -- in a Global Oneness Day teleconference Monday, the teleconference Web site indicated.
The day, akin to Earth Day but intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for humanity's inner oneness, is being celebrated in more than 40 countries Monday with parades, concerts, exhibitions, educational events, acts of service and other activities, said the global Humanity's Team movement, which created the day last year with more than 75 other non-governmental organizations and other groups and individuals.
Prominent supporters include South African Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, activist Rabbi Michael Lerner, "The Four Agreements" author Don Miguel Ruiz and artist-musician Yoko Ono, the day's Web site indicates.
Organizers are appealing to the United Nations to recognize the day, as the world body recognizes the International Day of Peace, Humanity's Team said.
Veteran U.N. envoy Anwarul K. Chowdhury, senior special adviser to the current General Assembly president and a former undersecretary-general and high representative of the United Nations, said last year peace efforts would "go nowhere" until people recognized the need for unity.
"Oneness brings about an appreciation of humanity's interdependence, which supports tolerance, understanding and solidarity, necessary for lasting peace," he said.
Mayor Zaragoza said humanity was at a moment, "for the first time perhaps in history," when it could make the shift in awareness to oneness.
This is due to a growing "global consciousness" made all the more evident by interrelated world events, technological changes that increase societal interaction, and an increase in the authority of women in key decision making, he said.