New York

19 September 2014

Secretary-General remarks at peace bell ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Peace

Good morning. What a beautiful day. What a peaceful song and thank you for a beautiful song this morning.  Thank you for joining us at the United Nations. It is a great pleasure to see you all.

We come together to mark International Day of Peace.

This Peace Bell Ceremony is an annual tradition to underscore the core mission of the United Nations. 

We ring a bell to help ring out conflict.

We sound a call for peace and a day of non-violence.

We urge fighters to lay down their arms.

And we invite every peace-loving person to engage with friends and neighbours and celebrate the diversity of our human family.

We thank Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall for joining us.

Dr.  Goodall, thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of people, our planet and all living creatures. 

One of the best ways to promote harmony is through the power of music. I thank two other Messengers of Peace, Yo-Yo Ma and Midori Goto, for being here and for agreeing to grace us with a performance later this morning.

Indeed, there will be a number of musical initiatives around the world today to celebrate the International Day of Peace. I thank the UN staff choir for such a beautiful song today, a beautiful message of peace. Thank you again.

We are grateful to the artist Ms. Yoko Ono for generously making the song Imagine available to be performed on this day.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace.

This essential document reaffirms that well-being and progress depend on life without war.

Conflicts hold back development and leave a legacy of death and destruction – of lost gains and lost generations.

Let us reaffirm peace as fundamental for sustainable progress and human rights.

Almost 70 years ago, the world community pledged to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

As the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations approaches, we must continue to be led by this will for peace.

There is much distance to travel, but we can get there day by day – starting here today  and now.

Before I ring this bell, please join me in a moment of silence.

Let us remember all those for whom the sounds of peace are drowned out by the blasts of bombs, missiles and guns. 

Let us take this moment to hold peace in our hearts and minds. 

Let peace ring and let us observe a minute of silence. 

Thank you.