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The International Day of Peace - “Let The Peace Begin With Us”

Sana Mohammed Sunday, September 24, 2023
The International Day of Peace - “Let The Peace Begin With Us”

We observe the ‘International Day of Peace (IDP)’ on the 21st September of each year. During the annual General Assembly session of the United Nations in 1981, it was decided to observe the IDP to honor and reinforce the ideals of peace. Initially, the IDP was observed on the regular opening day of the annual General Assembly session of the UN which is normally the third Tuesday of September each year. In 2001, the UN resolved to observe the IDP on a fixed calendar date of 21st September of each year and further strengthened its objective by adding ‘global cease fire and non-violence’ as one of the key elements.

Thus, IDP is a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace irrespective of the differences and thereby help in building a ‘Culture of Peace’ – a dedicated 24 hours ceasefire of all hostilities around the world.

At the UN Head Quarters, the IDP ceremony commences by tolling the Peace Bell. This bell, made of metals including coins donated by people from many different countries, is considered as a symbol of peace. The dove is also a symbol associated with the International Day of Peace. After the bell has been rung, the UN Secretary-General delivers specific messages emphasizing the need for world peace.

Every year the UN chooses a different theme for this distinct day. For 2022, the theme was ‘End Racism. Build Peace.’ For this year, the theme chosen is ‘Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #Global Goals” emphasizing the need for realization of Sustainable Development Goals that will create the culture of peace for all by bringing us closer to more peaceful, just and inclusive societies free from fear and violence. The UN Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres said, "Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarization."

As youths, there is an important question that we should ask ourselves in connection with this critical day - what can we do to nurture peace? To me, to be an integral part of the earnest efforts of the UN and thereby to contribute positively, we have to adopt, observe and strictly follow the principle of ‘Let the peace begin with us’. Let us use this opportunity to review and evaluate our own characters and behaviors at our home, school, small societies we are part of, and accordingly fine tune ourselves for betterment. Our individual actions, however small it is, adds up collectively to wonderful things, making the world a more peaceful place- let us all create peace day every day!

Sana Mohammed
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