“The people of the world have asked us to shine a light on a future of promise and opportunity. Member States have responded with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms. An agenda for the planet, our common home. An agenda for shared prosperity, peace and partnership.” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
The International Peace Day, also known as World Peace Day, is celebrated worldwide annually on 21st September. The day is dedicated to foster peace and harmony amongst the countries to put an end to war and violence, such as initiating a temporary ceasefire in war-hit zones for humanitarian aid access.
The celebrations dedicated to this day was commenced in year 1982. In year 2013, for the first time the Secretary-General of the United Nations dedicated the day to peace education, since education is regarded as the key preventive means for reducing war sustainably. The day is inaugurated by ringing the United Nations Peace Bell at UN Headquarters, New York City followed by a minute of silence. The bell is special as it is casted from the coins donated by from all the continents of the world except Africa and it was a gift from United Nations Association of Japan reminding the dreadful cost of war to humanity.
The International Day of Peace is observed by millions of people across the globe including governments, NGOs, civil societies etc. by organizing and engaging in diverse activities related to peace for spreading the message of harmony. The various activities often includes, events related to peace education, meditation and prayer, planting trees, concerts, yoga classes, marches and slogans spreading message of peace, community gatherings, workshops on UN Sustainable Goals etc.
The theme of the International Day of Peace 2016 is,“The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace. Ahead of this global day, Mr. Ban Ki Moon has stressed on the fact that 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the 193 member states are the real building blocks of a peaceful world. The new ambitious 2030 agenda invites the countries to initiate efforts in achieving these goals over the next 15 years. The agenda is focused to eradicate poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are our shared vision of humanity and a social contract between the world’s leaders and the people,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “They are a to-do list for people and planet, and a blueprint for success.”
These goals emphasizes on addressing the modern day challenges which causes conflicts threating the world peace which includes poverty, income disparity, hunger, racism, gender discrimination, water scarcity, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, xenophobia, terrorism and many others. The Sustainable development for all promoted during this day contributes towards dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and creates the foundation for a lasting peace.
By – Manisha Bhatia
Media & Communications
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