UNITED NATIONS MESSENGERS OF PEACE JOIN SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE OBSERVANCE

18 September 2008
OBV/723

UNITED NATIONS MESSENGERS OF PEACE JOIN SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE OBSERVANCE

18 September 2008
Press Release
OBV/723
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

UNITED NATIONS MESSENGERS OF PEACE JOIN SECRETARY-GENERAL

 

FOR INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE OBSERVANCE

 


More than 700 Students to Discuss Theme ‘Peace and Human Rights’


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will lead the observance of the International Day of Peace at United Nations Headquarters on Friday, 19 September.  This year he will be joined by four United Nations Messengers of Peace:  Michael Douglas; Jane Goodall; and Elie Wiesel; and renowned violinist Midori Goto, who will be appointed a Messenger of Peace on that day.  


The United Nations General Assembly officially proclaimed an International Day of Peace in 1981.  In 2001, the General Assembly called for the Day to be observed on 21 September each year as a day of non-violence and ceasefire, to encourage all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.


At the Peace Bell ceremony, the Secretary-General will deliver a message of peace and stress the importance of human rights, as we mark the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year.  He will also call on people everywhere to send a text message for peace as part of the United Nations text message campaign for the International Day of Peace.


Also on 19 September, the Secretary-General and the President of the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, will welcome more than 700 participants to a student conference organized at Headquarters by the Department of Public Information.  Under Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka will chair the event.  This year the student observance will focus on the theme “Peace and Human Rights”, which the students will discuss with the Messengers of Peace.  Youth in peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Liberia and the Sudan will join the student observance via videoconference.


United Nations Messengers of Peace are distinguished men and women of talent and passion who have expressed their desire to help focus attention on the noble aims of the United Nations Charter:  a world without war, respect for human rights, international law and social and economic progress.  There are nine Messengers of Peace -- those mentioned above, and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, George Clooney, Yo Yo Ma, Paulo Coelho and Daniel Barenboim. 


To help raise awareness about the International Day of Peace, the United Nations Department of Public Information has launched a unique text messaging campaign called “TXT 4 PEACE”.  From now until 21 September, you can send a message of peace via your mobile phone.  The messages will be shared with world leaders when they gather at the United Nations for the sixty-third session of the General Assembly on 23 September.  Those who do not live in a country that is participating in the mobile phone campaign or do not have a mobile phone can send a message via the Internet at www.peaceday2008.org


Student conferences are organized at Headquarters by the Education Outreach Cluster of the Outreach Division of Department of Public Information to reach out to students around the world and to facilitate an exchange of views on United Nations priority issues.  The student activities are an integral part of the Department’s educational outreach activities.


The Peace Bell ceremony and the student observance will be webcast live on the United Nations website at www.un.org/webcast.


For more information on student conferences, please visit www.cyberschoolbus.un.org/ or you may contact Yvonne Acosta at e-mail:  acostay@un.org; and Bill Yotive at e-mail:  yotive@un.org.  For media accreditation, please visit www.un.org/media/accreditation/index.htm.  To join the text messaging campaign for peace, go to www.peaceday2008.org.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.