The world will be observing the International Day of Peace on the 21st September. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September. The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. However, it was not until 2001 that the General Assembly established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.
This is a day to commemorate peace through education and public awareness. The purpose of this day is the global call for ceasefire and non-violence. This year’s theme is, Peace and Democracy: Make Your Voice Heard. It calls on all men and women around the world to take a stand for peace. Peace is a central element of democracy and development. Development can only take place when there is peace. It is critical in providing opportunities, particularly in countries emerging from conflict.
Although, some of the protracted and violent conflicts that beset Africa have been partially resolved, much more structures need to be put in place with emphasize on comprehensive peace. The independence of South Sudan is just one of the recent victories for peace in the continent. However, conflict still remains a painful reality for Africa; it has left women and children in refugees camps, some for generations, led to the disruption of education, destruction of families, economies and infrastructure and increased the number of impoverished.
It is the responsibility of the entire citizenry and political leadership to foster peace. When peace prevails, all people and nations stand to enjoy. Peace sustains development, meaning better infrastructure and access to education that leads to empowered citizens who know their rights and can meaningfully engage, resulting in a more vibrant democracy.
In commemorating the 30th anniversary of Peace Day, FEMNET is calling upon all individuals, political leaders, civil society, private sector, governments and international organizations to get involved in the quest to make peace a reality in the world and give a hope to the most vulnerable, those who bear the brunt of violence and who are often left physically, emotionally and socially scarred.
For more information contact:-
Ag. Executive Director, FEMNET