September 21st is the United Nations International Day of Peace ("Peace Day"), a day on which individuals, organizations and nations are called upon to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly.
In this year's Peace Day message UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that "this year's observance... focuses on youth and development, under the slogan, 'Peace = Future.'" Indeed, if we are to have a future we must create peace.
Moon acknowledges the crucial role that young people already play in peacemaking, while challenging them to do even more. He goes on to make a prophetic statement when he calls on young people to, "Expand on your work to build peace. Share your ideas with creativity and passion. The world's concerns will soon be in your hands."
Young people are a treasure; with knowledge and passion, prepared to venture out with conviction and courage to take on the world. They have much to offer even those of who have been at this thing for many years. We need to listen to their ideas and welcome them into our midst. We are all in this together.
As previous generations of peacemakers approach the end of their peacemaking days it will be up to the young people to take the torch and keep that bright light shining. I hope that young peacemakers will seek out the experienced elders of the movement and learn all you can. I also call on my fellow peacemakers, most of whom have had many more years of experience than me, to seek out young people with whom you can share your wealth of knowledge and experience.
It is my deepest hope that this year's Peace Day gatherings around the world will bring together the many generations of peacemakers to share our collective experience and learn from each other. May these gatherings be opportunities for us all to re-energize and redouble our efforts to build a world at peace with justice for all.
Click here to find an event happening near you on Peace Day.
Watch this video International Day of Peace message from UN S-G Ban Ki-moon.
Peace = Future,
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