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In just over two weeks people around the world will celebrate the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day

September 21th is the annual day declared by the General Assembly, devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The International Day of Peace is a global observance and nations around the world are invited to honour a cessation of hostilities during the day.

International Day of Peace 2014

2014 is a special year that marks the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace (Nov 12th, 1984).   The Declaration recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights and the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”.

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Also, this anniversary offers a unique opportunity to reaffirm the United Nations commitment to the purposes and principles upon which the Organization was founded.  By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged people to work in cooperation for this goal. Since the first year it was celebrated (1982), the World Peace Day has grown to include millions of people worldwide and many events are organized each year to commemorate this day.

Recognize the power of women peacebuilders

One of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is particularly important to support the efforts to build a peaceful world:  Goal #3, dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

In many countries, gender inequality persists and women continue to face discrimination in access to education, work and economic assets, and participation in government.

On September 3rd 2014, the UN Peacebuilding Commission held a session entitled “Women, Everyday Peacebuilders”. During the event, Liberian Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and keynote speaker,  stressed the role of women in peacebuilding:women across the world have been tested and proven worthy of building peace at the local level and in some cases the national levels.”  Also UN Women Deputy Executive Director John Hendra highlighted the fact that women peacebuilders bridge the local-national divide and come up with innovative solutions to conflict due to their expertise, knowledge and legitimacy.

If our readers from Vancouver area are interested to go deeper into this topic, we remember that this week the UNA Vancouver will hold the conference “Inequality and Rights: A Feminist Perspective” at Simon Fraser University, where academics and members of the broader community will talk about issues of diversity, persistent inequality, and social justice.

The United Nations invites all people in the world to honour a cessation of hostilities during September 21st, and to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

For updates, ideas and events related to Peace Day and to support the cause, you can follow on social media the hashtag #peaceday.

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Post written by UNAC-Vancouver website writer Sabrina Miso.

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