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International Day of Peace, 21 September
WMD - We Must Disarm: Take action
for a world free of nuclear weapons

Disarmament and non-proliferation

The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. This year the Secretary-General is calling on governments and citizens to focus on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

On 13 June 2009, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched a multiplatform campaign under the slogan WMD – We Must Disarm to mark the 100-day countdown which lead to the International Day of Peace on 21 September.

The United Nations will continue to raise awareness of the dangers and costs of nuclear weapons, and on why nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are so crucial. The Secretary-General was joined in the campaign by United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas, who has championed the cause of disarmament for the United Nations since 1998, and American actor Rainn Wilson, featured in the TV series The Office.

The International Day of Peace was established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 for “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people.” Twenty years later, the General Assembly decided that 21 September would be observed annually as a “day of global ceasefire and non-violence" and invited all Member States, organizations and individuals to commemorate the day, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of a global ceasefire.