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UN New Media Peaceever TV Editor's Note: We got an email to know from DESA NGO Branch, Sunday, 13 June marked the start of the 100-day countdown to the 2021 International Day of Peace. This year’s International Day of Peace will be celebrated under the theme “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.

"Peace is the foundation of that recovering, " said Secretary-General António Guterres in his message for the 100-day countdown. He called for “a transformation of peace”, inviting people everywhere to stand up against hatred and discrimination, to care for the planet, and to show global solidarity that is vital at this time.

The UN General Assembly designated 21 September the International Day of Peace – a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire. The United Nations Department of Global Communications will host a special global youth observance of the International Day of Peace, on Friday 17 September following the annual Peace Bell ceremony marking the International Day.

The Peace Bell was donated by the United Nations Association of Japan in 1954. It has become tradition to ring the bell twice a year: on the first day of spring, at the Vernal Equinox, and on 21 September to celebrate the International Day for Peace.
PHOTO:UN Photo/Manuel Elías

2021 Theme: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.

The pandemic is known for hitting the underprivileged and marginalized groups the hardest. By April 2021, over 687 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 100 countries have not received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare.

In line with the Secretary-General’s appeal for a global ceasefire last March, in February 2021 the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for Member States to support a “sustained humanitarian pause” to local conflicts. The global ceasefire must continue to be honoured, to ensure people caught in conflict have access to lifesaving vaccinations and treatments.

The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them: the virus attacks all without caring about where we are from or what we believe in. Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded 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.

And we must make peace with nature. Despite the travel restrictions and economic shutdowns, climate change is not on pause. What we need is a green and sustainable global economy that produces jobs, reduces emissions, and builds resilience to climate impacts.

The 2021 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.

Background

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.

Peace day 2021 poster
 
Secretary-General António Guterres (right) designates Malala Yousafzai, global advocate for girls’ education and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education (2017). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
 

100-day countdown to International Day of Peace 2021
 António Guterres Secretary-General's message

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.

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

Peace is the foundation of that recovery. The global vaccination effort cannot advance amidst armed conflict.

Nor can we build a sustainable, resilient, peaceful world while we are at war with nature. Recovery efforts offer an opportunity to transform our relationship with our planet and our environment.

The world cannot go back to what it was. 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.