Press Releases

UNIS/SGSM/050
13 June 2008

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

"Peace is Possible, if We Work Collectively to Make it Happen"

Message 100 Days in Advance of the International Day of Peace

VIENNA, 13 June (UN Information Service) -- In 100 days, the world will take part in the International Day of Peace. We need to take this Day of ceasefire and non-violence very seriously. We need to start planning for it now.

This year, 27 million children in conflict-affected areas are not in school. More than 25 million people are displaced from their homes. Tens of thousands of women are brutalized by sexual violence, one of the most horrendous aspects of conflict today.

But there are places where peace has been restored. Much of this has happened with the help of the United Nations, which this year celebrates two 60th anniversaries: those of UN peacekeeping operations and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The people of Sierra Leone and Nepal have voted in democratic elections to heal their countries after years of conflict.

In Southern Sudan, hundreds of thousands of children are back in school, following the peace agreement of 2005.

Societies are rebuilding in Burundi, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and the former Yugoslavia.

These experiences show us that real peace is possible, if we work collectively to make it happen.

That is why today, I am asking Governments, communities and individuals to start preparing concrete activities for the International Day of Peace and beyond.

On 21 September, let us send a real signal of our universal desire for peace.

* *** *