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Sunday, 21 September 2014

International Day of Peace, September 21st

To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded.
The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.

Message from the United Nations Secratary-General on the occasion of the International Day of Peace 2014.

 Today is the International Day of Peace.

Each year, on this day, the United Nations calls for a global ceasefire.
We ask combatants to put down their arms so all can breathe the air of peace.
Armed conflict causes untold grief to families, communities and entire countries.

Too many are suffering today at the brutal hands of warmongers and terrorists.
Let us stand with them in solidarity.
Peace and security are essential foundations for social progress and sustainable development.

That is why, three decades ago, the United Nations affirmed the right of peoples to peace.
Throughout the coming year, we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
Our organisation is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
We have made much progress.
But much remains to be done.
We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict.

Peace is a long road that we must travel together – step by step, beginning today.
Let us all observe a minute of silence, at noon.
Let us all reflect on peace – and what it means for our human family.
Let us hold it in our hearts and minds and tenderly nurture it so it may grow and blossom. 

Ban Ki-moon

 Message from the President of the United Nations General Assembly on the International Day of Peace 2014.


Mr. Secretary-General,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to participate in the Peace Bell Ceremony this morning, a time honored tradition in celebration of the International Day of Peace.
Thirty years ago, the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peoples to Peace, reaffirming that the aspiration for peace is universal among all peoples and that every human being should have a right to live in a peaceful environment.
As the Peace Bell rings today, belligerents across the world are called upon to lay down their weapons and observe a day of ceasefire.
We are called upon to turn our attention to the plight of populations caught in the grip of war, living in fear and uncertainty. We are reminded of the lives lost, property destroyed, families and communities torn apart and development efforts disrupted.

Today, we should recommit our efforts towards the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the building of lasting peace. This organization was founded to rid our world of the scourge of war. It is our duty and collective responsibility to promote tolerance, dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Peace is a prerequisite for the achievement of sustainable development. Therefore, on this International Day of Peace, let us rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of peace across the world. May the ringing of the Peace Bell today send a message of peace and hope that resonates loud and clear across the world. The people afflicted by the scourge of violent conflict deserve to live in peace. As Dag Hammarskjold stated sixty years ago, "The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in either victory or defeat.
The pursuit of peace and progress, with its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never be relaxed and never abandoned."

I thank you for your attention.

John W. Ashe

Resources :

Forum  : Join the discussions on the  International Day of Peace - September 21.

 The 2014 Global Peace Index score deteriorated slightly for the sixth year in a row continuing to record a gradual slide in global peacefulness since 2008.


For 2014, five out of the nine geographical regions experienced an improvement in peace and, among those that became less peaceful, substantial changes in the Index were only seen in two: sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which continues to suffer from the political aftermath of the Arab Spring. Yet again, Europe maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, supported by a lack of domestic and external conflicts. The largest improvement, however, was seen in what nevertheless remains the world’s most violent region, South Asia, which includes Afghanistan. In terms of societal safety and security, an improvement in the relative number of jailed population was coupled with a deterioration in the level of violent crime.

The perception of criminality in society deteriorated accordingly. Aside from sub-Saharan Africa, where criminality is often fuelled by ethnic strife and political unrest, Latin America clearly remained the world’s most violent region in terms of crime, as highlighted by its poor results in most related categories, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, where many of the world’s highest homicide rates can be found. Generally lower (better) scores were also seen in political instability and political terror although it is notable that the former category deteriorated slightly in Europe, which over the past few years has suffered from austerity-driven dissatisfaction and unrest. Meanwhile, the political terror score also improved or remained static in all regions except sub-Saharan Africa, which points to less widespread use of state repression on a global scale. This bodes well for the gradual consolidation of democratic institutions in some of the world’s more fragile states, although higher likelihood of violent demonstrations in many regions stands out as a latent risk.

Finally, the number of refugees and displaced persons rose during the past year, exacerbated by internal conflict in the Middle East and North Africa primarily, but also in certain Latin American countries, notably Colombia and Haiti. In the case of Colombia, a potential peace plan between government and FARC rebels offers hope of an end to one of the region’s most long-standing conflicts. With regards to domestic and international conflict, a fall in the number of deaths from organised external conflict was offset by a rise in those originating from internal conflict, triggered primarily by a small number of severe crises in key global hotspots. In the case of sub-Saharan Africa, this was largely driven by the outbreak of ethnic warfare in South Sudan, Central African Republic and Mali, which although internal in origin has impacted relations with neighbouring countries as well as foreign powers (in the last two cases resulting in French military intervention).

The Middle East and North Africa also performed poorly in the relevant categories as a result of the added international dimension of the Syrian civil war, which, during 2013, came close to involving military operations by the Western powers before an agreement was reached to dismantle Syria’s chemical-weapons arsenal. The ousting of president Mohammed Morsi and the violence that preceded and followed it also resulted in Egypt dragging down the region’s scores significantly; in fact, the Middle East and North Africa was the only region in the world not to see an improvement in at least one of the five of the indicators that comprise the domestic and international conflict dimension (it worsened in four).

Elsewhere, the main flare-up has been the ongoing crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, which was triggered by the Euromaidan protests in November 2013 and later escalated into a Russian military intervention in the Crimea. Aside from incidents in these three regions, however, there was very little in the way of international conflict during the past year, one which saw no major war between states. Nevertheless, tense relationships between the two Koreas, concerns over China’s growing military assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region, and the everpresent possibility that the Russia-Ukraine standoff could escalate into all out military conflict suggest these as a potential hotspots for conflict in the future.

Lastly, the militarisation domain was characterised by a widespread reduction in the number of armed services personnel. This was contrasted by an overall rise in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP in three key regions; Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and (especially) the Middle East and North Africa. The arms trade also saw a fall in inter-European transfers (both exports and imports), but the flow of Russian arms to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific continued. Much of this has been sent to support Syrian government forces against the rebels which, in contrast, have received much lower quantities of weaponry from the West. A major positive development has been the decrease in nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities. This trend has been most evident in some of the world’s most militarized regions such as Europe, Russia and Eurasia, and the Middle East and North Africa, although in the latter case this was partly due to losses incurred by Syrian government forces in the civil war.

This broad improvement, however, may prove to be short-lived if there is greater impetus for rearmament among NATO countries as a result of Russian aggression. This would be particularly evident in some of the NATO states bordering (or close to) Russia itself but could also affect core countries like Germany which over the past few years have trimmed down their armed forces and stocks of heavy weaponry.

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The Right of Peoples to Peace

Ban Ki-moon - Peace bell ceremony, International Day of Peace 2014

19 Sep 2014 - Remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the peace bell ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Peace 2014. Remarks
19 Sep 2014 - Remarks by Sam Kahamba Kutesa, President of the United Nations General Assembly’s sixty-ninth session at the peace bell ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Peace 2014. 

The 2014 theme – The Right of Peoples to Peace – marks the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. This anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the Declaration’s central message that humanity’s sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security.
19 Sep 2014 - Remarks by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the Student Observance on the occasion of the International Day of Peace 2014 "The Right of Peoples to Peace"

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