This is a solemn occasion.
We mark this International Day of Peace in a world torn apart by war.
Even in stable democracies, people suffer from hate crimes and violence.
Women are attacked just because of their gender.
Poverty is another terrible injustice. Children are dying of malnutrition – even in this world with so much food.
Please join me in a moment of silence in memory of those who have tragically lost their lives.
[OBSERVE MOMENT OF SILENCE]
At this sombre time, we gather at the Peace Bell to ring in hope. We are back here, after the Capital Master Plan renovation, for the first time in six years.
We are a small crowd here, but we are joined by thousands of people at the United Nations – officials and students, activists and artists, corporate CEOs and community leaders. All of us are resolved to work for peace.
Around the world, people cherish this dream in their hearts.
I call on all warring parties to observe a global ceasefire.
This may not happen today – but just as surely as striking this Bell makes a sound, we will continue to hammer this point and demand peace.
Today’s ceremony is very significant. This is the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Seven decades ago, the United Nations was born out of war to save others from the same devastation.
For seventy years, we have proudly carried out this mission – with many setbacks but still many, many lives saved.
Now we ring this Peace Bell to express our resolve to continue until we realize the vision of our Charter: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
Let us advance together to when we can celebrate International Peace Day with joy.
Let us work together to realize peace for all, equality for all, and justice for all.