New York, 13 June – 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. This understanding is central to the Rights up Front approach, which calls on 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.