Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace, observed on 21 September:
Every year on the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls on the peoples of the world to remember their common humanity and join together to build a future free of strife. It calls on all of us to observe a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, and to honour a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.
This year’s theme, “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”, highlights how ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring broadly shared prosperity all contribute to global harmony. When we all work together, we can make peace possible, starting with 24 hours of peace on 21 September.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit in September 2015. They are universal, applying to all countries. And they are integral to achieving peace.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 specifically focuses on “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”. Yet, peace runs like a thread through all 17 of the Goals.
When people feel secure in their abilities to provide for their families, when they are given access to the resources they need to live healthy lives, and when they feel truly included in their societies, then they are much less likely to engage in conflict.
That is why, over the next 100 days, we must recognize that development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We need to work together to help promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The leaders of the world have given us a clear blueprint, and by following it, we can help build a future of peace and prosperity.