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Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law’s ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan

UNICEF Image: Afghanistan, Jude Law
© UNICEF Afghanistan/2007/Noorani
Peace One Day ambassador Jude Law visits Maraston children's centre in Kabul together with Fatemah Gailani, President of the Afghan Red Crescent (left) and UNICEF Representative Catherine Mbengue.

By Dan Thomas

NEW YORK, USA, 18 July 2007 – Oscar-nominated actor and movie star Jude Law has completed a ‘secret’ mission to Afghanistan to film UNICEF’s preparations for marking the 2007 UN International Day of Peace.

Mr. Law was accompanied by British director Jeremy Gilley whose film, ‘Peace One Day’, documented his successful efforts to secure a UN resolution establishing an annual day of worldwide ceasefire and non-violence. The day is fixed in the global calendar on 21 September. Peace One Day is also the name of a non-profit organization founded to raise awareness of Peace Day.

For security reasons, the mission to Afghanistan had to be kept secret until Mr. Law and the others arrived safely back in the capital, Kabul, after a trip to Laghman Province and Jalalabad.

UNICEF Image: Afghanistan, Jude Law
© UNICEF Afghanistan/2007/Noorani
During a visit to a Kabul youth centre managed by the Afghan Red Crescent Society, Jude Law and UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Catherine Mbengue meet children surfing the Internet.

New film on Peace Day

Accompanied by UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan Catherine Mbengue, Mr. Law, Mr. Gilley and a Peace One Day film crew interviewed children, government ministers, community leaders and UN officials. The crew also filmed schools and visited various UNICEF-supported programmes inside and outside the capital.

The Afghanistan mission forms an important component of Mr. Gilley’s second film, produced in association with the BBC, which will document how ordinary people and organizations such as UNICEF mark Peace Day this year.

Launched in September 1999 by Mr Gilley, Peace One Day has gained active support from governments and individuals the world over. In September 2001, Peace One Day achieved its primary objective: A UN General Assembly resolution (A/Res/55/282), put forward by the UK and Costa Rican Governments, was unanimously adopted by UN member states formally establishing the UN International Day of Peace.

Since that time, Mr. Gilley and the Peace One Day team have been working to inform the world of the day’s existence, engaging all sectors of society in peaceful observances on 21 September in accordance with the resolution. 

UNICEF Image: Afghanistan, Jude Law
© UNICEF Afghanistan/2007/Noorani
Peace One Day founder and British filmmaker Jeremy Gilley reads a book with Afghan children.

Concert for peace planned

On 21 September 2006, there were reported activities in 200 countries, directly involving 27.6 million people in all. Several of the observances were organized by UNICEF.

On 21 September of this year, Peace One Day is hosting a major concert for global peace at the Royal Albert Hall in London. A host of stars – including Annie Lennox, Corinne Bailey Rae, James Morrison, Beth Orton and Marc Almond – will perform live, supported by video messages and specially filmed pieces by Mr. Law, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, UNICEF UK President Lord David Puttnam and others.

Mr. Law has been nominated for an Academy Award twice; once as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ in 2000, and again as Best Actor in a Leading Role for ‘Cold Mountain’ in 2003.




18 July 2007:
UNICEF Senior Producer Dan Thomas interviews Jeremy Gilley, the founder of Peace One Day, and the British actor Jude Law about their visit to Afghanistan.
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