The International Day of Peace instituted by the United Nations is observed annually on the 21stof September and is devoted to promoting the principles of peace.
This year’s theme is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”
The International Day of Peace instituted by the United Nations is observed annually on the 21stof September, held this year under the theme “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”. This year’s celebrations commemorate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
This year’s theme is a reminder that Peace, human rights and justice are intrinsically linked, in that one cannot exist in the absence of the others. Signed in the aftermath of the second world war, in 1948, the UDHR set out universal rights applicable to all people. Although not legally binding, this document has served to help act as a guideline for peace and has been heralded globally for its role in promoting peace. The seventy years subsequent to the signing of the UDHR have shown that though peace is a right which we should all enjoy, the journey to achieving it is an arduous road and we have to work hard to attain peace around the world.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres says:
“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”.
Today we join the world in celebrating the International Day of Peace or World Peace Day and also celebrate seventy years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In our celebration of rights and peace, we also celebrate diversity and tolerance and the fact that our global culture is one that desires more justice and equality in the world. In Zimbabwe, we need to extend rights, justice and peace to all people – and work to attain these for all including women, the poor, ethnic minorities, people with different sexual orientation, refugees and many others who have hitherto been marginalised.
We also take this day when both peace and human rights are being honoured to urge our government to abolish the death penalty, torture and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment that violate the dignity of our fellow men and women.
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