Established in 1981 by the unanimous agreement of the United Nations General Assembly, the International Day of Peace (21 September) is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace and a commitment towards non-violence. For the past five years, QUNO has facilitated the development and distribution of a sign on statement amongst peacebuilding organizations globally to mark the day and engage with Member States and UN stakeholders ahead of the UN General Assembly session.
Recognizing that the International Day of Peace falls in the midst of the global COVID-19 health crisis, the statement emphasizes that the steady progress that has been made towards building, keeping and sustaining peace is now under threat. Signatories recognize that this crisis could be but a foretaste of the disruptions that may arise in years to come, including from climate change and environmental degradation, and growing inequalities and exclusion. If we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we must recommit to peace today.
As the 75th session of the UN General Assembly provides many opportunities for Member States to re-commit to peace, this statement, signed by over 170 organizations, calls on governments to continue to take the following steps:
- Mainstream peace in the response to COVID-19
- Prioritize inclusion in analysis and action
- Make space for building peace
- Reaffirm multilateralism and international norms 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.