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    UNIS/SGSM/198
    14 June 2010

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

    "Peace = Future."
    Only in a Peaceful Environment Will Young People Realize their Full Potential

    Message for 100-day Countdown to International Day of Peace, 13 June 2010

    VIENNA, 13 June (UN Information Service) - One hundred days from today, the world will mark the International Day of Peace - a day on which armed conflict is meant to be stilled… a day on which we appeal to combatants to observe a ceasefire… a day on which we reaffirm commitment to non-violence and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

    This year's observance, which takes place on 21 September, focuses on youth and development, under the slogan: "Peace = Future."

    Young people already play a crucial role in working for peace. Yet I know they can do even more. So this International Day comes with a challenge for young people everywhere: Expand on your work to build peace. Share your plans and ideas, with creativity and passion. The world's concerns will soon be in your hands.

    This year, the International Day of Peace coincides with the Summit I am convening to boost progress towards the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    Achieving the goals is essential for ending armed conflict and building sustainable peace. I hope the voices of young people will be heard at the Summit and in the run-up to it.

    Over the next 100 days, I urge young people to plan projects that can help create the conditions for peace in their communities, in their schools, in their countries. We need your voice and commitment, and we will share your stories with the world.

    As we start the countdown to the International Day of Peace, we recognize two truths: Only in a peaceful environment will young people realize their full potential - and young people have the potential to start building that peaceful world today.

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