What is the Peace Bell?
Last Updated: Oct 31, 2019
The Peace Bell was offered to the United Nations by the UN Association of Japan on the 8th June 1954 (Note No. 864). It is located in the UN Headquarters in New York City. It measures three feet, three inches in height, two feet in diameter at its base, and weights 256 pounds. It is housed in a typical Japanese Shinto shrine-like structure made of Japanese cypress wood. Inscribed on one side of the bell, in Japanese characters, are the words, "Long Live Absolute World Peace".
It is traditionally tolled on the first day of spring and on the International Day of Peace (21 September).
The Spring day tradition started in 1971 when the Secretary-General U Thant signed the Earth Day Declaration (Note No. 3661).
The Peace Bell was tolled on other occasions, for example:
- In 1966, for the first anniversary of Pope Paul VI visit to the United Nations. (Note No. 3310)
- In 1999, for the entry into force of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention). (SG/SM/6909)
- In 2004, to observe International Day of Reflection on 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. (NOTE No. 5859)
Photo: Peace Bell Ceremony in Observance of International Peace Day, 21 September 2018, United Nations, New York, # 775616
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.