A UN Call for All Soldiers to Lay Down Their Arms on the International Day of Peace — 21 September

September 21st, 2016 - by admin

The United Nations – 2016-09-21 15:53:35


The International Day of Peace — 21 September
The United Nations

“Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind.”
— UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

“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.”

Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict.

Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper.

Every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a building block in the global architecture of peace. It is critical that we mobilise means of implementation, including financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships. Everyone has a stake and everyone has a contribution to make.

On 16 September 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General celebrated the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence. Women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the United Nations Messengers of Peace were invited to participate in the ceremony.

The United Nations Education Outreach Section held a global student videoconference on the same day, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also at United Nations Headquarters.

Sustainable Development Goals:
Improve Life All Around The Globe

“Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe” is a hip hop music video that was produced by Flocabulary in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. It aims to teach young people throughout the world about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and how they can help build peace.

Check out videos by youth from around the globe on how the Goals can help build peace!

Celebrating Peace Day: September 21, 2016
Kerri Kennedy / American Friends Service Committee

With AFSC’s Centennial fast approaching, I have been spending a lot of time lately reflecting on lessons learned over the last century, the successes we have had as a community, and the struggles that have made us stronger. I’ve also been thinking about how we can support you and others who care deeply about social justice as we continue to work for peace and justice in the years to come.

In partnership with the US Institute of Peace, AFSC has designed a six-chapter, free, self-guided course — a curated collection of online videos and resources that we hope you’ll find useful in your activism, education, and exploration.

The course includes strategies AFSC has employed over our past 100 years of quiet diplomacy, nonviolent resistance, and peace building — from the early years of supporting conscientious objectors during World War I and protesting the internment of people of Japanese descent in the US during World War II, to the many movements of liberation that have unfolded across the world in the decades since.

We’ve highlighted the stories of individual peace builders, activists, and community leaders, many of whom have risked their lives to bravely promote nonviolence, mediate with those committing violence, and call for social change.

Need more encouragement? Watch this welcoming message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, reflecting on AFSC’s role in divestment efforts to help end apartheid in South Africa.

On this Peace Day, we celebrate our community of peace activists, and we invite you as a colleague, participant, or ally in our work on civil resistance and peace building to explore this resource and learn about others doing important work to dismantle systems of oppression and violence around the world.

Thank you for all you do to promote lasting peace with justice.

American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102