The Observances of the International Peace Diplomacy Corps, Inc. are anchored to the observances of the United Nations Organization in promoting and preserving the value of the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression, International Peace Day, and the United Nations Day.
The International Peace Diplomacy Corps, Inc. adopted the designated international days, special observances of the United Nations in proliferating international awareness on these contentious issues.
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 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.
The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.
“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”
This year, the International Day of Peace will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants. Its messages will be shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.
The Day will highlight solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities. Ultimately, it will be about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.
Young people will have a vital role to play. For example, they can volunteer to welcome and help refugees and migrants in their communities. They can also extend the hand of friendship to young refugees and migrants who they might meet in their classrooms and neighbourhoods.
Upon taking up my duties as Secretary-General in January of this year, my very first act was to issue an appeal for peace -- a call on citizens, governments and leaders everywhere to put peace first.
The International Day of Peace, observed every year on 21 September, embodies our shared aspiration to end the needless suffering caused by armed conflict. It offers a moment for the peoples of the world to acknowledge the ties that bind them together, irrespective of their countries of origin. It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day of peace can lead to another, and another, and ultimately to a stilling of the guns.
Yet there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons. True peace requires building bridges, combating discrimination and standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people.
That is why this year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”, focusing in particular on the plight of refugees and migrants throughout the world. Our obligation as an international community is to ensure that everyone forced to flee their homes receives the protection to which they are entitled under international law. Our duty as a human family is to replace fear with kindness.
Over the next 100 days, let us remember that millions of vulnerable members of our society, many of whom have lost everything, need our understanding and assistance. Let us strategize together about what we can do to help them. Let us recognize the many ways in which they contribute to and strengthen their host countries and communities. And let us redouble our efforts to address the root causes of conflict, advance our work for the Sustainable Development Goals, and heighten our emphasis on preventing violence in the first place.
By opening our hearts, joining hands and reaching out to refugees and migrants, we can move closer to attaining peace, prosperity and protection for all.