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Counting down to Peace Day, UN chief urges: Stand up against hatred and care for planet

Every year on 21 September, the United Nations invites people around the world to celebrate peace by observing 24 hours of ceasefire and non-violence. On Sunday, the UN chief kicked off the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace.

As we strive to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic and reimagine a better future for people and planet, Secretary-General António Guterres introduced this year’s theme: “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”

Regardless of ethnicity, location or religion, the virus attacks everyone.

Confronting this common enemy, we must remember that we are not each other’s enemy.

To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another.

“Peace is the foundation of that recovery. The global vaccination effort cannot advance amidst armed conflict”, he said in his countdown message.

Moving forward

Moreover, the top UN official underscored that we cannot build a sustainable, resilient and peaceful world while we are “at war with nature”.

“The world cannot go back to what it was”, he stressed.

The Secretary-General upheld that COVID recovery efforts offer humanity an opportunity to transform its relationship with the environment and the entire planet.

“As we count down to the International Day of Peace, I call on people everywhere to be part of a transformation for peace, by standing up against hatred and discrimination, by caring for the planet, and by showing the global solidarity that is so vital at this time”, he concluded.

Looking back

The International Day of Peace was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981.

Two decades later, in 2001, the Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

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