21 September marks the International Day of Peace, which was established in 1981 by a unanimous resolution in the UN’s General Assembly. To mark the day, QUNO and over 100 additional peacebuilding organizations from throughout the world issued a statement to United Nations Member States that brings attention to peace concerns.
“By the end of 2018, over 70 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations, and the annual global economic cost of violence now exceeds $14 trillion USD," said Andrew Tomlinson, director of the Quaker United Nations Office in New York. "We need to redouble our collective efforts to prevent violent conflict by addressing its roots, and to structure our response to crisis in ways that support local capacities, respect human rights and align with long-term plans to build sustainable peace."
The statement calls on governments and the international community to:
- Move from commitments to action on peace in the 2030 Agenda and across the three UN pillars;
- Align crisis response with longer term prevention and peacebuilding efforts;
- Protect and support civil society in fostering sustainable peace;
- Think local and act global: recommit to multilateralism as a safeguard for the most vulnerable.
In addition, QUNO distributed a press release on the statement, which was shared widely with media contacts covering the United Nations.