Celebrating the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono recording the anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance with the Plastic Ono Band, the United Nations announced Tuesday that the proceeds from a new release of the song will raise funds for peacebuilding efforts in countries emerging from conflict.
Yoko Ono – the former Beatle’s wife and artistic collaborator – along with his sons, Sean and Julian Lennon have partnered with music industry giants, EMI and Sony, to give the net profits from the sale of the commemorative single to the UN Peacebuilding Fund.
The special anniversary edition digital single will be available to download from iTunes through the end of the year.
The song was written in 1969 during John and Yoko’s famous week-long “bed-in” protest against the Viet Nam War, in which they lay on their honeymoon bed and courted the world’s media at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.
Later that year, the song became a sing-along anthem for over 500,000 people at the Viet Nam war demonstration in Washington, DC, chanting, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”
The Peacebuilding Fund was established in 2005 to bolster countries in their bid to rebuild after conflict, reconcile divisions and prevent them from relapsing into bloodshed. It was designed to show people a quick peace dividend, as opposed to larger, development-oriented projects.
“I am delighted to see that a song so closely identified with the pursuit of peace, will shine a light on the United Nations’ peacebuilding efforts and financially support our projects,” said UN Peacebuilding Commission Chairperson Ambassador Heraldo.
“Yoko Ono has been a fundamental moving force allowing this gift to go the United Nations peacebuilding effort, and I thank her personally for what she has done.”
Muñoz also thanked Member States, including middle-income countries, which had contributed well over $300 million to the Fund.
So far, the Fund has provided financial help for the countries on the Commission’s agenda – Sierra Leone, Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR) and Guinea-Bissau – as well as some 14 other countries that were emerging from conflict.
(From material at UN News)