15 September 2016

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Video Message for International Day of Peace observances

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. 

This year the day will be marked on Friday, 16 September at 9:00am EST when the Secretary-General rings the Peace Bell in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters which will be followed by a minute of silence.  Women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the United Nations Messengers of Peace will be invited to participate in the ceremony. The United Nations Education Outreach Section will hold a global student videoconference on the same day, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also at United Nations Headquarters.   

The Secretary-General recorded this video message to commemorate the day.

The Day’s theme for 2016 when  is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”  The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. 

Sustainability addresses the fundamental needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Modern challenges of poverty, hunger, diminishing natural resources, water scarcity, social inequality, environmental degradation, diseases, corruption, racism and xenophobia, among others, pose challenges for peace and create fertile grounds for conflict. Sustainable development contributes decisively to dissipation and elimination of these causes of conflict and provides the foundation for a lasting peace. Peace, meanwhile, reinforces the conditions for sustainable development and liberates the resources needed for societies to develop and prosper. 

Every single one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a building block in the global architecture of peace. It is critical that we mobilise means of implementation, including financial resources, technology development and transfer, and capacity-building, as well as the role of partnerships. Everyone has a stake and everyone has a contribution to make. 

Share your thoughts on how the Sustainable Development Goals can help foster peace using #peaceday online and you can follow the events live at webtv.un.org