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Secretary-General's 100-day Countdown Message
13 June 2014
Today marks the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace, when the United Nations calls on nations, communities and individuals to renounce conflict and promote harmony.
The theme for the Day this year acknowledges the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, with its central message that humanity’s sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security. It is central to the Rights up Front approach, which calls upon the international community to act earlier and more concertedly in the face of human rights violations, which are often the precursors of worse to come.
Over the coming 100 days we need to unite as a human family to deliver the right to peace by encouraging fighters to lay down their arms. Let us stand in solidarity with the civilians killed by terrorism and war, the traumatised families whose homes and futures lie in ruins, the countries whose development has been set back by decades.
History has shown that, no matter how fierce, conflict can end, peace can prevail and reconciliation can triumph. On 21 September, at concerts around the world -- in major cities and small towns, in conflict zones and peaceful communities – people will broadcast this essential message. They will celebrate the value of human diversity and the strength of our unity.
As we start the countdown, I urge every peace-loving person to engage with their friends and neighbours, their community organizations and governments. Together, let us demand the right of peoples to peace.
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.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day 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.