“This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity. COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down. Conflicts are spinning out of control. The climate emergency is worsening. Inequality and poverty are deepening. And mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever. As a human family, we face a stark choice — Peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace. That is why I call for a 24-hour ceasefire today. And by working in solidarity for a lasting, sustainable peace every day, we can tackle the issues facing us.
We need peace to urgently deliver lifesaving vaccines and treatment for COVID-19. We need peace to recover from the pandemic and re-build shattered systems and shattered lives. We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities. We need peace to renew trust in one another — and faith in facts and science. And we need to make peace with nature — to heal our planet, build a green economy, and achieve our net-zero targets.
Peace is not a naïve dream. It’s a light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity.
Let’s walk the pathway of peace as if our lives depended on it.
Because they do.”UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, 2021 message
The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations in 1981, and in 2001 it was designated as an period of non-violence but the UN General Assembly.
This year’s theme is “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”. The global COVID-19 pandemic, which we are only starting to slowly recover from, hit the poorest and most marginalized group the hardest, and despite the wide rollout globally of vaccinations, there are still more than 100 countries that have not yet taken part. War, conflicts, natural disasters, and weather-related crises do not take a break during a pandemic – but they do make it much harder for those impacted to received the healthcare needed to prevent and treat illnesses, including covid.
In spirit with the UN, I share this request from the UN website: “We invite you to join the efforts of the United Nations family as we focus on recovering better for a more equitable and peaceful world. Celebrate peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline, and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.“