On September 22nd, 2019, Peace Boat’s 102nd Global Voyage successfully crossed the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Manzanillo, Mexico in time to celebrate the Global Week to #Act4SDGs with a Festival of Peace and Friendship. The Global Week to #Act4SDGs, running this year 20-30 September. rallies public support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) connecting actions taking place in thousands of cities and communities across the globe while world-leaders gather in New York for five milestones UN Summits. It takes place annually around the anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which introduced the 17 SDGs. Peace Boat is a partner of the UN SDG Action Campaign which leads the Week of Action and is an Action Partner for the Week.
The festival was held in partnership with other local organizations working for the SDGs Colima 2030, My World Mexico, and Voluntad Organizada, as well as Manzanillo City Hall who are working towards the same goal of raising awareness of the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as celebrate cultural exchange through an exciting programme.
“Peace Boat sails because we believe that travel creates peace, but peace makes travel possible,” announced the 102nd Global Voyage’s Voyage Director, Yoshida Marin, to event attendees, “and everything we have experienced here today embodies that motto.” Manzanillo Mayor Griselda Martínez Martínez echoed her sentiments in her own remarks, “To achieve harmony and understanding, we must all consider ourselves representatives of our countries. Peace is our ideal–but peace, like democracy, can only bear fruit when there are admiration and respect for all”, she said.
Presented in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Cantonese, the open-air festival was attended by people of all ages from various countries including Mexico, Japan, China, Taiwan and Singapore. A dedicated SDGs booth focused on raising awareness of the on the UN Sustainable Development Goals where attendees were asked to complete the UN’s MyWorld Global survey on the Sustainable Development Goals helped by local and Peace Boat volunteers who were there to explain more about them.
There were also cultural performances to celebrate the SDGs. On stage, a mixed programme featured a rousing folk ballet directed by Professor Adrian Barrera and Japanese drumming concert by Peace Boat participants wearing the bright colours of the SDGs. “‘Taiko’ means drum in Japanese, and when we say ‘wa-daiko’ it means ‘Japanese drums,’” explained the events’ presenters. “The ‘wa’ represents something coming from Japan, but it’s also the same ‘wa’ in ‘heiwa,’ which is Japanese for ‘peace”, they added. There were also local craft and food vendors, and a cultural exchange booth at which attendees could dress in traditional Japanese yukata (light summer robes) or learn Japanese calligraphy.
Taking place only one day after the International Day of Peace, the Festival of Peace and Friendship provided an exciting opportunity for Peace Boat and the city of Manzanillo to unite under the banner of global camaraderie and sustainable development. The celebration ended with a group photograph in front of Manzanillo’s signature sailfish monument, after which the crowd was lead in a hopeful cheer of "Act for SDGs" before participants of the 102nd Global Voyage set sail for Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.