Thursday, September 21, 2006

International Day of Peace

A holiday well-worth celebrating.

The Day was established in 1981 by A/RES/36/67 [PDF, 112K] of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session every September. The General Assembly in 2001 voted unanimously to fix observance of the Day on 21 September as a day of non-violence and ceasefire by A/RES/55/282 [PDF, 91K].

The United Nations works in a wide cross-section of areas to address the root causes of conflict, including in poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS prevention, humanitarian assistance, promotion of human rights, development of international agreements and legal instruments, peace operations, electoral assistance, support for democratization, preventive diplomacy and economic and social development.

On 21 September, the Day will be observed at UN Headquarters with the traditional ceremony in which Secretary-General Kofi Annan will ring the Peace Bell for the last time during his term in office. Numerous commemorative events and activities are planned around the world by United Nations offices, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and civil society and religious groups to promote the ideals of peace and non-violence.

This year, the UN will use the Day to note the many ways it works for peace and to encourage individuals, groups and communities around the world to contemplate and communicate thoughts and activities on how to achieve peace.

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