Tuesday, 19 January 2021

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"Peace can’t be left to politicians"

Ken Douglas 2.0 Generic CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

20 - 21 September 2014 – Securing international peace has always been the main goal of the United Nations. However, war is still part of every day life for millions of people as the world witnesses an unprecedented number of crisis, wars and conflicts.

The International Day Of Peace on September 21st is therefore more timely than ever as the occasion is devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideal of world peace.

Peace is recognized in The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, as a vital element for the full enjoyment of all human rights. The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is therefore “Right of Peoples to Peace”

“Our organization is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. We have made much progress. But much remains to be done”, says Ban-Ki-moon. In pursuit of securing peace, United Nations envoys are dispatched to areas of tension around the world to assist in defusing crises and brokering negotiated settlements to conflicts.

“Peace, as a condition to the full enjoyment of all human rights, is much too important to be left to politicians. Hence, public participation in decision-making must be strengthened so that a truly democratic and equitable international order can emerge”, said UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, as he urged NGO’s to take a more active role in global disarmament.

Simultaneously the UN deploys peacekeeping forces to create the conditions for lasting peace in many countries torn by conflict. Currently 16 UN military peacekeeping operations and one special political mission are ongoing with personnel from 122 different countries. 83,327 serving troops and military observers, 11,420 police personnel, 5,323 international civilian personnel, 11,954 local civilian staff and 1,798 UN Volunteers contribute to the efforts.


“Today, on International Day of Peace 2014, I call upon civil society organizations around the world to take an active role in bringing about a meaningful transformation in their own countries, downsizing the military and reorienting budgets towards education, health care, the creation of employment in peaceful industries and reinforcing of the rule of law and administration of justice”, further highlighted the UN Expert

To raise awareness and to spread the message of peace, the UN has also nominated twelve United Nations Messengers of Peace.

The Messengers of Peace, through their public appearances, contacts with the international media and humanitarian work, help expand understanding of how the ideals and objectives of the Organization demand everyone’s attention. The most recent addition to the team is actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

“I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action,” says Leonardo DiCaprio. 

The International Peace Day has been celebrated since 1982, inaugurated every year by the ringing of the Peace Bell at UN Headquarters – a bell that was donated by the United Nations Association of Japan as "a reminder of the human cost of war".

“Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today,” concludes Ban-Ki-moon.

“History shows that governments have again and again stumbled into wars by the dynamic of escalating rhetoric”, concluded de Zayas. “It is a noble function of the noblest international organization to facilitate peaceful negotiation and assist politicians to withdraw from belligerency, bearing in mind that war-mongering is contrary to article 2(4) of the UN Charter and article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Join the debate on Twitter #PeaceDay
Find more info on the International Peace day here

UNRIC's related links:

Countering hatred – practicing peace in wartime
Reign of fear and terror in Ukraine must come to an end
War, rain and money


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