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International Day of Peace

September 21 has been celebrated as the International Day of Peace by the United Nations each year since 1982. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Declaration of the Right of Peoples to Peace by the U.N. in 1984. That declaration called on all member states “to do their utmost to assist in implementing the rights of people to peace through the adoption of appropriate measures at the national and international level.”

In the customary 100-day Countdown Message given by the Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said, “Over the coming 100 days we need to unite as a human family to deliver the right to peace by encouraging fighters to lay down their arms. Let us stand in solidarity with the civilians killed by terrorism and war, the traumatized families whose homes and futures lie in ruins, the countries whose development has been set back by decades.”

Sadly, during these 100 days since June 13th, we have seen the flare-up on the Gaza Strip, tensions and combat in Ukraine, riots and unrest in response to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mississippi, the rise of ISIS and subsequent attacks on religious communities, including Christians, Yaizidis, and “unacceptable” Muslims. We clearly have far to go to achieve the vision of the “Right of Peoples to Peace.”

And yet, all around the world, people of good will continue to gather to lift up that vision and to do what is in their power to bring it nearer to fulfillment.

Learn more about the International Day of Peace from their Facebook page.

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