On June 26, president of the Global NGO Executive Committee Patrick Ciarlatta notified the Tokyo-based organization known as Association for the Preservation of UN Peace Bell that their application for membership as an NGO associated with the UNDGC (United Nations Department of Global Communications) was approved after review and discussion by the committee on June 25. The association will be positioned as a private affiliated organization of the United Nations and will be able to participate in various related events, receive handouts and provide information on hiring staff, all free of charge. The United Nations Charter defines NGOs as private organizations that work with the United Nations, and non-governmental organizations in this context are considered to be synonymous with international organizations which have the power to influence international politics.
At the 6th United Nations General Assembly in Paris in 1951, representative of the Japanese United Nations Association Chiyoji Nakagawa proposed the idea of making a peace bell containing coins from people who wish for world peace. With cooperation from United Nations Undersecretary-General Benjamin Cohen, the United Nations Peace Bell, containing coins from representatives of 65 countries and nine gold coins from Pope Pius XII, was produced at the Tada Foundry in Takamatsu City, Japan. It was donated in 1954, two years before Japan joined the United Nations. The bell, located in the Japanese garden in front of the United Nations headquarters, is rung on three separate occasions: Vernal Equinox Day, the United Nations General Assembly in September and the International Day of Peace.
Association for the Preservation of UN Peace Bell’s president Seiko Takase made the following remarks: “On the early morning of June 26, I received an email from the United Nations. It said, ‘We are pleased to inform you that the activities of the Association for the Preservation of UN Peace Bell have been approved by the Committee of the UNDGC.’ It has been eight years since I started the activities of the association, where I went around sharing with others the origin of the United Nations Peace Bell and the thoughts of its founder, Chiyoji Nakagawa. This is like a dream come true that our humble activities have finally led to being recognized as an NGO of United Nations. I would like to steadily spread these activities to the world.”
(Ryoichi Miura/Translated by Madoka Nakashima/Associate Editor Ashley Matarama)