Quaker United Nations Office

The International Day of Peace (September 21) was established in 1981 by unanimous agreement of the United Nations General Assembly and is dedicated to strengthening global commitments to peace and nonviolence. For the past five years, QUNO has facilitated the development and distribution of a sign-on statement supported by peacebuilding organizations globally to recognize the day and engage with UN member states and stakeholders at the opening of the UN General Assembly session.

The 2020 statement was signed by over 170 organizations, including several Quaker organizations, and called on governments to prioritize inclusion in analysis and action, make space for building peace, and reaffirm multilateralism and international norms as a safeguard for the most vulnerable.

Last year, the International Day of Peace fell in the midst of the global COVID-19 health crisis. Signatories used the statement as an opportunity to call on member states to mainstream peace in the pandemic response, recognizing that this crisis could be typical of the disruptions that may arise in years to come. The statement emphasized that the continued progress that has been made toward building, keeping, and sustaining peace is now under threat, and therefore a recommitment is needed to focus on peace, justice, and inclusion now and in the long-term.

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