|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Hailing Increasing Diplomacy, Negotiation in Message
for International Day of Peace, Urges Political Will to End Conflicts
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for the International Day of Peace, to be observed on 21 September:
The International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. It is a time to reflect on the horror and cost of war, and on our duty to resolve disputes peacefully.
Most of the victims of conflict are powerless. Innocent civilians. Fathers, mothers, children. Without peace they have little hope of improving their lives. Little hope of escaping poverty.
Often, those who work on behalf of the powerless are also targets. Journalists, medical professionals, humanitarian workers, United Nations staff and peacekeepers have all found themselves under attack.
Combatants, warlords, arms suppliers and their sponsors continue to display a cruel disrespect for life. On this International Day of Peace, I remind all of them that there is another way. A better way. The path of peace.
We should be encouraged that war between nations is happening less often. Diplomacy and negotiation are becoming a more frequent choice. And even where States are torn by internal strife, history shows that peace can prevail if there is sufficient will. There are many examples where the advocates of peace have successfully subdued the voices of hate.
I also draw hope from the renewed engagement of the international community on the issue of nuclear disarmament. That is why I have launched the WMD-We Must Disarm campaign. As long as such weapons exist, no one is safe.
On this International Day of Peace, I have a simple message for all: We Must Disarm! We must have peace. I appeal to people throughout the world to join in this effort. Support the United Nations, and do your part for peace.
* *** *For information media • not an official record