Press Releases

UNIS/INF/285
24 September 2008

Citizens Join United Nations in Sending Signal of Peace to World Leaders

VIENNA, 24 September (UN Information Service) - Sending a powerful signal for peace to be read, heard and felt worldwide was the aim of the United Nations campaign to mark International Day of Peace 2008. People around the world had the opportunity to communicate directly with world leaders by sending their message of peace to the United Nations in the weeks leading up to International Day of Peace on 21 September.

Over 145,000 people from 132 countries submitted their messages, which were presented to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly on 23 September.

The United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna invited citizens to send their personal peace messages via the UNIS website and by email. Visitors to the United Nations in Vienna also had the opportunity to leave words of peace on cards at an exhibit in the main entrance hall of the Vienna International Centre.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, H.E. Dr. Danilo Tuerk added his voice to the campaign by sending his message of peace: "Peace is a value and desire of all of us. Let it be eternal. Put conflicts to an end and let reason prevail. International Day of Peace is also an opportunity for individuals, groups, peoples and States to devote their attention to the future, for a better life for their children, for them and for all who respect themselves and others."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined the campaign with the message: "On the International Day of Peace, I call on world leaders and peoples around the world to join forces against conflict, poverty and hunger, and for human rights for all."

Messages sent to UNIS Vienna express citizens' strong desire for peace in simple and impressive words such as:

"Peace means you can say everything and feel safe wherever you are. Peace is freedom and safety. On the other hand, war is slavery and death";

"Make peace with yourself and pass it on to others: people, cultures, nature";

"There will never be peace in the world until we treat others the same way we treat our beloved".

To view more messages of peace, you are invited to visit the UNIS website: www.unis.unvienna.org

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations as an annual observance of global non-violence and ceasefire. Every year, people in all parts of the world honour peace in various ways on 21 September.

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For further information, please contact:

Sonja Wintersberger
Public Information Officer, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3430
Email: sonja.wintersberger@unvienna.org