May 27, 2011

The Prime Minister, Terry Waite CBE and Llangollen Eisteddfod mark International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

Terry Waite at the Llangollen Eisteddfod Parade of Nations
Terry Waite at the Llangollen
Eisteddfod Parade of Nations

The Prime Minister acknowledges "the work of the (Llangollen) Eisteddfod for world peace" as he joins Terry Waite CBE to make International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

terry waite at the llangollen eisteddfod

Terry Waite
On 29th May, Terry Waite CBE, the President of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and David Cameron will pay tribute to more than 124,000 UN peacekeepers, deployed in more than 15 countries around the globe.  Other prominent figures have offered their own peace messages that will be sent out alongside the peace message from the small North Wales town of Llangollen. The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers pays tribute to all men and women serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage, and to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. In his message, the Prime Minister said: “It is important that we recognise the work of all the men and women who have served as United Nations Peacekeepers throughout the world. We should also honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.” 

He went on: “I would like to acknowledge the work of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod for world peace by gathering together young people from different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds throughout the world to share and express themselves through the language of music."

May 29th marks the anniversary of the first UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO), which began operations in Palestine in 1948.

This was just eleven months after the first Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, held in June 1947.

This year, Llangollen will host its 65th week-long festival from 4th -10th July 2011 with competitors arriving in the north Wales town from more than 50 countries.

Retaining the original ethos of promoting peace through the arts, the Eisteddfod today combines a mix of globally successful superstars, such as Lulu and McFly, with competitors from around the world.

Among the highlights will be performers from Iran, Columbia, South Africa, India and Pakistan.  

terry waite at llangollen eisteddfod parade of nations
Terry Waite at Llangollen Eisteddfod
Parade of Nations

Terry Waite, who spent nearly five years held captive in Lebanon and released 20 years ago this year, made reference to the origins of festival: “The message of peace is the central message of the Eisteddfod and those who participate in the gathering frequently find that they establish new friendships and gain new understandings with those who may have been seen as threatening opponents.”

Terry Waite also extends an invitation to join the ‘Sound of Silence’ at 12 noon on Thursday 7th July. This iconic show of unity will see the Llangollen Pavilion and surrounding eisteddfod field fall silent, and volunteers, visitors and competitors will link arms and offer the Llangollen Message of Peace to the world. Terry Waite said: “The work for Peace in our time is never ending and in the Eisteddfod week we are all invited to re-commit ourselves to work for peace in our own lives and in the world around us.”

Other prominent figures who have offered their own peace messages, include:
  • The Rt. Rev. James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool
  • The Most Rev. George Hack, Archbishop of Cardiff
  • Anil Bhanot OBE, Founder of the Hindu Council UK
  • Dr. Peter Sutch, Chairman of the United Nations Association Wales


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