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International Day of Peace, 21 September 2011

Message of the Secretary-General

International Day of Peace 2011 - Message of the UN Secretary-General

Every year on the International Day of Peace, people around the world commit to non-violence and to harmony among all peoples and nations.

Peace is our mission; our day-to-day quest.

This year’s theme focuses on the timely issue of peace and democracy.

Democracy is a core value of the United Nations.

It is crucial for human rights.

It provides channels for resolving differences.

It gives hope to the marginalized and power to the people.

But democracy does not just happen; it has to be nurtured and defended.

The world needs you to speak out:

for social justice and freedom of the press;

for a clean environment and women’s empowerment;

for the rule of law and the right to a say in one’s own future.

This year, young people have been on the frontlines for freedom.

I salute the activists and ordinary people for their courage and determination to build a better future.

We at the United Nations will work in common cause to realize our shared aspirations for dignity, security and opportunity for all.

To all those seeking peace, this is your day, and we are with you.

Ban Ki-moon