Today is the international day of peace – what is our role?

This day, marked on the United Nation’s calendar, is the international day of peace. Set in 1981 but only officiated unanimously in 2001 – this day to observe non-conflict and non-violence.

However over three decades of this day established to promote peace and non-conflict globally, our world is still engrossed with self gain and battle. From countries not adopting to the biochemical weapon convention (which the AU adopted) to civil unrests of police brutality in the USA and xenophobic attacks on our own soils.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believes that we all have a role in achieving a peace sustained society, but the solution lies in partnership.

In his message to the world, Ban Ki-moon calls on all governments, NGO’s, faith based groups and corporations to gather and play a role in fostering social progress. Instead of succumbing to despair (as we, young people do not realize our power in igniting a global change to the world) we need to recognize that peace and governance is achievable.

This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a time of deadly violence and destabilizing conflicts around the world. Rather than succumbing to despair, we have a collective responsibility to demand an end to the brutality and impunity that prevail. Here is his full message:

I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace.  Although it may seem hopelessly distant, the dream of peace pulses in the lives of people everywhere.

There is no group more poised to help realize this dream than today’s young people. They are part of the largest generation of youth in history, more aware and connected than any before. I urge all governments to make greater investments in realizing the potentially massive contributions of the world’s young peacebuilders.

At the same time, we need to mobilize all partners who share the goal of peace. Non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups and corporations all have a role to play in fostering social progress, protecting the environment and creating a more just, stable and peaceful world. The value of this collaboration is our theme for the Day: “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All.”

We live at a moment of peril – but this is also an era of great promise. In a matter of days, leaders from across the globe will gather at the United Nations to adopt the 2030 agenda, our 15-year plan to achieve sustainable development. This is fundamental to ushering in a life of dignity for all, where poverty is history and peace is paramount.

On the International Day, as we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, let us seize the opportunity to achieve the Organization’s founding purpose: to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

What is your stand? Do you believe that we can meet the idea of  peaceful, governed globe or are our beliefs and differences stopping us from doing so?