Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the International Day of Peace, observed today:

This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity.  COVID‑19 has turned our world upside down.  Conflicts are spinning out of control.  The climate emergency is worsening.  Inequality and poverty are deepening.  And mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever.

As a human family, we face a stark choice — peace or perpetual peril.  We must choose peace.  That is why I call for a 24‑hour ceasefire today.  And by working in solidarity for a lasting, sustainable peace every day, we can tackle the issues facing us.

We need peace to urgently deliver life‑saving vaccines and treatment for COVID‑19.  We need peace to recover from the pandemic and rebuild shattered systems and shattered lives.  We need peace to level the playing field and reduce inequalities.  We need peace to renew trust in one another — and faith in facts and science.  And we need to make peace with nature — to heal our planet, build a green economy, and achieve our net‑zero targets.

Peace is not a naïve dream.  It’s a light in the darkness, guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity.  Let’s walk the pathway of peace as if our lives depended on it.  Because they do.

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Author: Editor
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