UN chief kicks off 100-day countdown to International Day of Peace

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UNITED NATIONS, June 13 (APP): In a kick-off for the 100-day
countdown to the International Day of Peace, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the international
community to work together in recognizing that development and peace
are interdependent and mutually reinforcing in order to help build a
future of peace and prosperity for all.

“When people feel secure in their abilities to provide for their families, when they are given access to the resources they need to
live healthy lives, and when they feel truly included in their
societies, then they are much less likely to engage in conflict,”
the Secretary-General said.

“That is why, over the next 100 days, we must recognize that
development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing. We need to work together to help promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The leaders of the world have given us a clear blueprint, and by following it, we can help build a future of peace and prosperity,” he added.

The International Day of Peace ‘which is devoted to strengthening
the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples’ has
been observed annually around the world on 21 September since it was established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly.

Every year on the Day, the UN calls on the peoples of the world to remember their common humanity and join together to build a future free of strife. It also calls on all States to observe a day of global
ceasefire and non-violence, and to honour a cessation of hostilities for
the duration of the Day.

This year’s theme, “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building
Blocks for Peace,” highlights how ending poverty, protecting the planet
and ensuring broadly shared prosperity all contribute to global harmony.

“When we all work together, we can make peace possible, starting
with 24 hours of peace on 21 September,” Ban said.

Recalling that the 17 SDGs were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the UN at an historic summit in September 2015, the Secretary-General emphasized that the Goals are a shared vision to
humanity.

“They are universal, applying to all countries. And they are integral
to achieving peace,” he emphasized.

In particular, he noted that SDG 16 focuses on peace, justice and
strong institutions, although he underscored that “peace runs like a
thread through all 17 of the Goals.”

As part of activities related to the 100-day countdown to the Day, a
new hip-hop music video, “Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe,” was launched today by the UN.

The music video, which breaks down the 17 SDGs into easy-to-understand concepts, aims to inspire young people around the world to take action to support the UN development agenda.

The video was produced by Flocabulary “a web-based learning programme using educational hip-hop music to engage students and increase achievement” in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the Outreach Division of the UN Department of Public Information.

In related news, the UN’s Education Outreach Section also launched a
new video contest to offer a platform for youth to express their ideas on how the SDGs can help build peace.

The contest is open to young people from ages 15 through 24 years,
who may submit video clips ranging from 10 to 15 seconds on their vision for sustainable peace.

The clips will be posted on a dedicated YouTube channel, and the
winning clips will be screened at the global student video conference
taking place on 16 September at UN Headquarters in New York. Students can also share their ideas through Twitter using the hashtag peaceday.

As part of activities leading up to the actual Day, on 16 September
the Secretary-General will ring the Japanese Peace Bell in the Peace
Garden at UN Headquarters in New York and observe a minute of silence.

UN Messengers of Peace and women Nobel Peace Prize laureates are
scheduled to participate in that event.