September 21, 2011, marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Peace. As we begin today a 100-day countdown to the observance, we pay tribute to the many civil society activists who lent the strength of their imagination to the institution of this Day.
The United Nations General Assembly declared in 1981 that the Day shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
It invited all Member States, the United Nations system, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, peoples and individuals to commemorate the Day in different ways, especially through all means of education, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the observance of that day.
Education, and the fruits of education, have been central to this observance.
Young women and men everywhere are demonstrating the power of connection by reaching out to each other, and rallying together, in the common cause of the dignity and human rights to which their peoples aspire.
It is in tribute to them, and the spirit they represent, that we have chosen this year, under the overall idea of Peace and Democracy, the theme of “Make your voice heard.”
The United Nations stands ready to work with the peoples in whose name the International Day of Peace was established to secure a world ready for, and worthy of, the peace that is essential to all creative human endeavour.