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Posted on Jul 20, 2019 in News & initiatives

UN International Day of Peace – 21 Sept 19.

Children in Zataari Camp in Jordan. Photo credit UN/Sahem Rababah

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.

2019 Theme: Climate Action for Peace

The theme draws attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.

Climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts, forcing millions to leave their homes and seek safety elsewhere. The salinization of water and crops is endangering food security, and the impact on public health is escalating. The growing tensions over resources and mass movements of people are affecting every country on every continent.

How to get involved

Young people are stepping up to the challenge – close to half a million youth around the world have taken action on climate change in their homes, schools and communities. According to UNFCCC, they are key actors in raising awareness, running educational programmes, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects.

This year, the International Day of Peace Student Observance, to take place on 20 September 2019 at United Nations Headquarters, will provide a platform for young people to showcase the projects that they have undertaken to fight climate change and promote peace. The student observance will be held immediately following the Peace Bell Ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. with the Secretary-General and will be webcast live at webtv.un.org.