Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the International Day of Peace

This International Day of Peace celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.

This has never been so important at a time of unprecedented challenges. New forces of  division  have emerged, spreading  hatred  and  intolerance.  Terrorism  is  fuelling violence, while  violent extremism seek to poison the minds of the vulnerable and young. In the poorest and least-developed parts of the world, climate-related natural disasters  are  compounding  existing  fragility, increasing  forced migration and heightening the risk of violence.   The barriers to peace are complex and steep -- no one country can solve them alone. Doing  so  requires new forms  of  solidarity  and  joint  action,  starting  as  early  as possible.  This  is  the  spirit  of  the  call  by  the  United  Nations  Secretary-General,  Antonio Guterres,  for  a new surge in  prevention  to  sustain  peace,  bringing  together Governments and civil society, along with international and regional bodies. Change is racing across the world -- our goal must be to embrace it on the basis of human rights, to  shape  it  in  positive  directions  to  craft  a  future  that  is  more  just, inclusive, and sustainable.   The culture of peace is a culture of dialogue and prevention, and, in this context, the role of the United Nations has never been so vital. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development affirms that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and  no  peace  without  sustainable  development.” The same  spirit underpins the Security Council and the General Assembly resolutions in 2016 on ‘sustaining peace.’  We need a new comprehensive approach, to address root causes, strengthen the rule  of  law  and promote sustainable  development,  on  the  basis  of  dialogue  and respect. This  guides  all of UNESCO’s  action  to build  peace  through  education, freedom of expression, intercultural dialogue, respect for human rights and cultural diversity and scientific cooperation.   On this  International  Day  of  Peace,  we  must  all  renew  our  commitment  to global solidarity. To sustain peace, we must build it every day, in every society, with every woman and man, by working together towards a better common future for all.   Irina Bokova     

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