Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The United Nations Member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 because they understood that it would not be possible to build a peaceful world if steps were not taken to achieve economic and social development for all people everywhere, and ensure that their rights were protected. The Sustainable Goals cover a broad range of issues, including poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” calls for promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone. Peace will enable a sustainable environment to take shape and a sustainable environment will help promote peace.
2018 Theme: “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”
The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations.
The Universal Declaration – the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages – is as relevant today as it was on the day that it was adopted.
“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that landmark document.” — Secretary-General António Guterres
The Universal Declaration states in Article 3. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” These elements build the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
Yet, the Universal Declaration does not include a separate article on “Right to Peace”. This is why we ask you this year:
What does “The Right to Peace” mean to you? Share your ideas with us through #peaceday and #standup4humanright.
In the lead up to the International Day of Peace on 21 September, we call upon all to take action.
You can support SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions by seeking peaceful resolution of conflict when disagreements arise around you. You can be part of the solution by taking small steps. You can prevent an injustice at school or in your community by adopting a non-violent approach to problem solving and reporting potential crimes, including online bullying.
You can promote human rights by collecting and promoting videos of as many articles as possible in as many languages as possible. Record yourself reading one of the 30 articles of the Declaration in any of the 135 languages currently available and share your video with your friends.
You can engage by speaking up when others are at risk and stand with others’ human rights at work, in school and around the dinner table.
You can reflect how each of us can stand up for rights, every day.
Human rights are everyone’s rights.