UN Headquarters

17 September 2010

Remarks at Peace Bell Ceremony

Ban Ki-moon


Today we observe the annual International Day of Peace – a day dedicated to ceasefire and non-violence.

That is why, each year on this day, I ring the Peace Bell.

And it is why … every day … here and around the world … I work for peace.

I work with antagonists to help them resolve their differences peacefully.

I sound the alarm about threats – those we can see clearly, and others just over the horizon.

I promote tolerance, justice and human rights.

I campaign for harmony among countries and peoples.

This year, Peace Day is dedicated to young people.

We have just entered the International Year of Youth.

The theme of the year -- dialogue and mutual understanding -- captures the very essence of peace.

Young people today are at home with global diversity; they are comfortable in an interconnected world.

Yet they are also vulnerable to the forces of extremism.

So I say to all governments and our partners: let us do more to give them a world of tolerance and opportunity.

And I say to all young people: join us.

I know you are impatient … frustrated by poverty, injustice and environmental degradation.

You are concerned that we, your elders, have not made greater headway against these threats.

On Monday, world leaders will gather for the Millennium Development Goals Summit.

There have been remarkable gains, but we need faster progress – much, much faster.

Young people can play a central role.

Peace is precious. It must be nurtured … maintained … defended.

This is a job for all of us.

On this International Day of Peace, I ask all, young and old, to share plans and ideas, and to act with creativity and passion.

Help us fight for peace and prosperity for all. Help us to keep our promise.

Thank you very much.