In a call for peace, 100 days ago, the UN secretary General Antonio Guterres stated that there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons.
“True peace requires building bridges, combating discrimination and standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people.”
He said the International Day of Peace, September 21, “embodies our shared aspiration to end the needless suffering caused by armed conflict.”
“It offers a moment for the peoples of the world to acknowledge the ties that bind them together, irrespective of their countries of origin. It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day of peace can lead to another, and another, and ultimately to a stilling of the guns,” he added.
Upon taking up my duties as Secretary-General in January of this year, my very first act was to issue an appeal for peace — a call on citizens, governments and leaders everywhere to put peace first.
Antonio Guterres stated that this year’s theme, “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”, focusing in particular on the plight of refugees and migrants throughout the world seeks to remind the international community of its obligations to ensure that everyone forced to flee their homes receives the protection to which they are entitled under international law. Our duty as a human family is to replace fear with kindness.
He called for joint actions to “strategize about what we can do to help them,” and a redoubling of efforts to address the root causes of conflict, advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
The UNSG said refugees and migrants in “many ways contribute to and strengthen their host countries and communities. By opening our hearts, joining hands and reaching out to refugees and migrants, we can move closer to attaining peace, prosperity and protection for all.”
Photo Australia for UNHCR: Nigerian women queue to receive food at the Minawao refugee camp in Cameroon