Peace and Security

Two people wearing protective suits kneel in front of bagged projectiles in the desert.

The Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare (30 November) provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of chemical warfare, as well as to reaffirm the commitment of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to the elimination of the threat of chemical weapons, thereby promoting the goals of peace, security, and multilateralism. During the ceremony–at which representatives of the victims’ associations participate as guests of honour–the OPCW Member States renew their resolve to achieve a world truly free of chemical weapons.

A group of happy children smiling and pointing at the camera.

On March 23rd, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world to focus together on the true fight – defeating COVID-19. He repeated the call at the start of the 75th UN General Assembly session in September. He called for the global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year. Since March, 180 countries, the Security Council, regional organizations, civil society groups, peace advocates and millions of global citizens have endorsed the Secretary-General’s ceasefire call. Get involved and sign the urgent call to support!

A man sits inside of a school classroom surrounded by children.

At 13, Ishmael Beah was recruited as a child soldier. Today, as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Ishmael continues to give hope to many children and young people around the world.

As part of a project to improve policing and security in Nepal, forum theatre is helping bring communities together to discuss the injustices they face and explore what they can do about it.

A man in uniform plants a seedling.

Natural resources and the environment hold tremendous peacebuilding potential. From economic recovery and government revenues to sustainable livelihoods and the restoration of basic services, the way natural resources are managed and governed can either fundamentally support or undermine peacebuilding objectives. The United Nations strives to ensure that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies. There can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.

Women peacekeepers paint a mural of a dove and the world.

The UN Security Council marks two decades since the landmark resolution 1325, which for the first time, enshrined the essential role of women in securing and maintaining peace. Peace is a prerequisite for health, equality and human security. Women are working against tremendous odds to build and sustain peace, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. UN Women supports the global ceasefire called by the Secretary-General and the feminist organizations on the ground: disarmament, arms control and shifting military spending to social investment.

Though women are active agents of peace, their leadership remains largely unrecognized. UN Peacekeeping continues to push for their full, equal and meaningful participation in peace processes.

A woman smiles and holds her arms out with a crowd behind her.

Today, the UN Security Council marks 20 years since the historic vote that recognized, for the first time, the unique impact conflict has on women and the critical role they play in conflict prevention and resolution. The Council will convene its annual Open Debate on resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security to ensure a COVID-19 response that is truly inclusive and rooted in the power of women-led peace, as a transformative opportunity towards a more, sustainable and equitable world. Watch the debate on 29 October, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

knotted gun sculpture

On 23 March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world to focus together on the true fight – defeating COVID-19. He repeated the call at the start of the 75th UN General Assembly session in September. He called for the global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year. Silencing the guns can not only support the fight against COVID-19, but also create opportunities for life-saving aid, open windows for diplomacy and bring hope to people suffering in conflict zones who are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. 

Three women together carry a sack of food labelled World Food Programme.

The Nobel Peace Prize 2020 was awarded to United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) "for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict." In 75 years, the United Nations, its specialised agencies, related agencies, funds, programmes and staff were awarded the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize twelve times. One agency, UN Refugee, received the famous prize in both 1954 and 1981.

Sculpture of a gun with a knot on the barrel.

Highlighting the remarkable power of non-violence and peaceful protest, the International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. Calling for a global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year, the Secretary General of the UN António Guterres in his message for the International Day of Non-Violence emphasized that “On this year’s observance, we have a special duty: stop the fighting to focus on our common enemy: COVID-19

Памятник «Добро побеждает зло»

Achieving global nuclear disarmament is one of the oldest goals of the United Nations. Yet, today around 13,400 nuclear weapons remain. The General Assembly commemorates 26 September as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This Day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a priority. It provides an opportunity to educate the public - and their leaders - about the real benefits of eliminating such weapons, and the social and economic costs of perpetuating them. 

Man rings a bell.

In March, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and focus on the battle against the pandemic. While the message is intended for armed parties, solidarity and cooperation across borders is also needed to respond to the worst public health crisis of our time. The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.” Celebrate the day by standing together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us through the virtual concert on Monday, 21 September at 8:00am EDT.

A boy stands in an empty classroom ridden with bullet holes.

Around the world, attacks on children continue as warring parties flout one of the most basic rules of war: the protection of children. Conflicts today affect the futures of entire generations of children. Living in conflict, children without access to education, will grow up without necessary skills exacerbating the already desperate situation of millions of children and families. The International Day to Protect Education from Attack draws attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support.

On the occasion of the third commemoration of the International Day for the Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism on 21 August 2020, watch and listen to the powerful stories of victims of terrorism talking abou