Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Peace, observed on 21 September:
The International Day of Peace is devoted to urging warring parties everywhere to lay down their weapons and work for harmony. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, this call is more important than ever. That is why I appealed for a global ceasefire in March.
Our world faces a common enemy: a deadly virus that is causing immense suffering, destroying livelihoods, contributing to international tensions and exacerbating already formidable peace and security challenges.
The focus of this year’s International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together”. In that spirit, and to mark our seventy-fifth anniversary, the United Nations is bringing people together for a global conversation about shaping our future and forging peace in trying times.
In these days of physical distancing, we may not be able to stand next to one another. But we must still stand together for peace. And, together, I know we can — and will — build a more just, sustainable and equitable world.