Bryan Adams, Annie Lennox and John Legend will be among the artists celebrating Peace Day at the Royal Albert Hall on 21 September. Appearing on stage alongside them will be the actor Jude Law, who will introduce a screening of a new documentary film, The Day After Peace, in which he stars.
This film by Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley documents Gilley's 10-year quest to establish an annual global Day of Peace. It shows the chain of events that led to the UN sanctioning his motion in 2001, and Gilley persuading countries and governments to adopt this day as one of ceasefire and non-violence.
Other footage features Lennox, the Dalai Lama, David Beckham, Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller, all of whom have helped the mission. "When I initially had the idea to establish the first ever day of peace voted by every head of state in the world, I actually thought it would fail. But I knew if I documented the journey, I'd make a profound statement about how unwilling our world is to unite," says Gilley.
"Ten years later, not only has the day been created, but also in Afghanistan it was acknowledged by all parties and [in 2007] 1.4 million children were vaccinated against polio, which was a historic achievement," he continues. "But it is not only what is going on in areas of conflict that is important. It is also about the violence in our homes, communities and workplace."
The former RSC actor turned to film-making to promote positive change. This is his second Peace Day Celebration at the Royal Albert Hall, and he wants to build on the achievements of last year, which saw more than 100 million people taking part in 192 countries. "If we are to move from a culture of war to a culture of peace then we will have to unite around the most fundamental issue that humanity faces – the protection of each other and our environment," he says. "Peace Day, 21 September, is the starting point."
21 September (020-7589 8212); 'The Day After Peace' DVD is now available to buy from www.peaceoneday.org