United Nation Secretary – General Ban Ki-Moon
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
MESSAGE TO MARK THE 100-DAY COUNTDOWN TO
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
13 June 2009
The International Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. It is a time to reflect on the horror and cost of war and the benefits of peacefully resolving our disputes. This year, I will use this important day to ask governments and citizens of the world to focus on the important issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
The end of the Cold War helped lift the burden of nuclear catastrophe from a generation that had lived under its cloud since the end of the Second World War. Nonetheless, the threat persists, as recent events attest. Unless we vigorously work for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, we will continue to face threats from existing nuclear weapons, as well as additional risks that more States, even terrorists, might acquire and deploy such weapons, potentially annihilating millions of people.
This alarming outlook is counterbalanced by a new momentum on the part of world leaders to address the issue of nuclear weapons. The United States and the Russian Federation have signalled a new commitment to cut their nuclear arsenals. Furthermore, the Conference on Disarmament, which includes all States with nuclear arms, has recently broken a decade-long deadlock and agreed to work to resolve some of the key issues related to disarmament and non-proliferation.
We must build on this momentum. To that end, I am launching the WMD-WeMust Disarm! Campaign. Over the next 100 days, the United Nations and our partners around the world will work to raise awareness of the true costs and dangers of nuclear weapons. Between now and 21 September, we will issue 100 reasons to disarm, via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, email, text message, radio and from friend-to-friend. Celebrities will also help us spread the message. And finally, as we observe the International Day of Peace with world leaders gathered in New York for the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, I will proclaim one strong, simple message: We Must Disarm!
VIDEO MESSAGE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
21 September 2009
The International Day of Peace is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence.
It is a time to reflect on the horror and cost of war, and on our duty to resolve disputes peacefully.
Most of the victims of conflict are powerless. Innocent civilians. Fathers, mothers, children.
Without peace they have little hope of improving their lives. Little hope of escaping poverty.
Often, those who work on behalf of the powerless are also targets.
Journalists, medical professionals, humanitarian workers, United Nations staff and peacekeepers have all found themselves under attack.
Combatants, warlords, arms suppliers and their sponsors continue to display a cruel disrespect for life.
On this International Day of Peace, I remind all of them that there is another way. A better way.
The path of peace.
We should be encouraged that war between nations is happening less often. Diplomacy and negotiation are becoming a more frequent choice.
And even where States are torn by internal strife, history shows that peace can prevail if there is sufficient will.
There are many examples where the advocates of peace have successfully subdued the voices of hate.
I also draw hope from the renewed engagement of the international community on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
That is why I have launched the WMD-WeMustDisarm! Campaign. As long as such weapons exist, no-one is safe.
On this International Day of Peace, I have a simple message for all: We Must Disarm! We must have peace.
I appeal to people throughout the world to join in this effort. Support the United Nations, and do your part for peace.