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Connector of the Day: Send Jeremy Gilley your questions

September 20th, 2009
06:37 PM ET

Actor and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley has a deceptively simple idea for reducing global violence: Get everyone involved in conflict to put their weapons down for just 24 hours each year. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/18/art.gilley.pg.jpg caption="Jeremy Gilley wants an annual 24-hour global cease-fire."]

This concept is the driving principle of his charity Peace One Day, which set out to establish September 21 as an annual day of global cease-fire and non-violence.

Remarkably, for such an ambitious project, Gilley’s vision has enjoyed considerable success – not least the 2001 adoption by the 192 member states of the United Nations of the concept of “Peace Day.”

In 2008 Gilley teamed up with actor Jude Law for a documentary charting a mission to Afghanistan undertaken by the pair, during which they managed to create a window in the relentless violence to allow a mass polio vaccination.

The film, which capped 10-years of Peace One Day campaigning for Gilley, premiered at last year’s Cannes film festival, going on to garner numerous awards.

As September 21 comes around again, Gilley joins us on Connect The World to discuss his achievements and his hopes for a world still blighted by conflict.

Do you think Gilley’s goals can be achieved? Do you think celebrities have a role in trying to halt conflict? Send us your questions.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. medknowsbest

    Yes I think so especially in Africa, because most of these celebrity earn so much respect in that continent, I can remember when JOE HILLS from jamaica, visit my country Sierra leone the rebles should have attack freetown that same day, but because of his respect they didn´t. We were amongst the rebel enjoying his musical concert. After the musical concert the rebels then attack freetown on the next day.
    so with my oppinion i think Celebrity can not only stop wars but can also fight poverty in the world.

    September 19, 2009 at 3:00 am | Reply
  2. Luke

    Yes, I'm sure African militias and Chechen guerrillas will just be beside themselves wanting to set aside their agendas to acknowledge a rich, privileged man's fantasy.

    September 19, 2009 at 5:08 am | Reply
  3. Jim

    Mr. Gilley, please also forward your proposal for "Peace Day" to Al Queda and the Taliban. And perhaps we could pick a few moments within that day during which people around the world could sing "Kum Bay Ya" in unison.

    September 19, 2009 at 7:36 am | Reply
  4. Pham Cong Minh Tri

    i like Jeremy Gilley but i think the Actor and filmmaker "Slumdog Millionaire" is better than Jeremy, Slumdog Millionaire immerses the audience in an alien landscape and shows it through the eyes of a young man fighting against history and his own culture's expectations.
    i want oneday become the better Actor and filmmaker like Dev Patel Danny Boyle.....

    September 19, 2009 at 9:14 am | Reply
  5. John

    People can be better informed by news organizations seriously examining the issues, rather than trying to be celebrity news presenters, like Olberman, O'Reilly or Cooper.

    If the American media stopped wasting time on the cult of celebrity, the American people would be more informed citizens of the world. It is up to the media to separate the distractions from the heart of the issue, and so far, no good.

    September 19, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  6. Muthyavan.

    Whoever is trying to stop wars and make world as a peaceful place to live at least for one day IE September 21 must be given a thumbs up and support from everybody. Explosions and fighting have reached an alarming trend around the world with hundreds killed and badly wounded everyday. Jeremy Gilly appeal should reach all nations and religious leaders to make a joint international appeal to all war mongers to spare human life at least for one day stopping all activities of war.

    September 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  7. shew

    Do you really think somebody who is willing to kill other human beings for his beliefs and die for them will stop for 1 day because of a movie? Would you stop defending your livelyhood, family or ideals for 1 day just becuase of a movie?

    September 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  8. Yusuf

    Yes, they have a role. But only in the areas where celebrities are KNOWN not in Afghanistan and Somalia.


    September 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  9. Cristian Ispir

    Interesting, it would just be like the Truce of God in the feudal society. Would it be a specific day? Too bad belligerents of modern warfare rarely follow the traditional rules of engagement. Of course, only if you consider terrorism to be another kind of warfare. And I think Mr. Gilley does.

    September 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  10. Al

    I agree with Yusuf. A buddy of mine in Afghanistan told me that there were Afghan locals in some of the more remote areas that thought the U.S./coalition forces were Soviets. If that's the case, they probably do not view or have access to the forms of media we use for information and entertainment, and I seriously doubt they'd recognize any of our celebrities. Most places on earth have at least a somewhat reliable electrical infrastructure so people in those locations will likely recognize many celebrities (everyone and their mother has a satellite dish in Iraq). It would probably be better for regional celebrities to help out in some areas. In places where religion trumps everything, it'll be extremely tough. I see no harm in trying though.

    September 19, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Reply
  11. sarah from prague

    If everyone does put down their weapons for one day – what does that achieve? Do they then resume fighting the next day? what are the long term consequences?

    September 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  12. JJ

    When you talk about global violence – do you just mean combat and warzones?
    what about crime in bad neighborhoods? or domestic violence?

    September 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  13. Suresh Pillai

    The idea is too simplistic to make any real progress to peace.Every violence has its own genesis and should be dealt with accordingly.Those that could be weaned away, be shown leniency for them to forgo path of violence.Others not willing to change should be dealt severely.For them peace has no value.It is for UN to act in a pro-active way in Peace keeping rather than a toothless force.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  14. rach

    yes eveyone put down ur gards and just dont took at the terroist that will take advantage of the day, and pass through borders and even tunnels and bring in weapons of mass destruction. please terroist come into the country, any contry, open tickt just one day a year. yeah right!

    September 21, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Reply

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