Each year the International Day of Peace is
observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General
Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening
the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of
non-violence and cease-fire.
This year, it has been clearer than ever that
we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is
a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and
very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil
and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of
the planet can impact people everywhere.
In March, UN Secretary-General António
on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and
focus on the battle against this unprecedented global
pandemic. While the message is intended for armed parties,
solidarity and cooperation across borders, sectors and
generations are also needed to win this new fight against
the worst public health crisis of our time.
For the United Nations, 2020 was already
meant to be a year of listening and learning. To mark its
75th anniversary, the UN has invited millions of people
worldwide to join UN75,
the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation on
building the peaceful and prosperous future that we want.
As we struggle to defeat COVID-19, your voice
is more important than ever. In these difficult times of
physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will be
dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The
world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to
weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the
better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each
other, we can still dream together.
The 2020 theme for the International Day of
Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.” Celebrate the day by
spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the
pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use
the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so
that we can shape peace together.
The International Day of Peace was established in
1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades
later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the
Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
The United Nations invites all nations and
people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day,
and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and
public awareness on issues related to peace.