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Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace, observed on 21 September:

Every year on 21 September, the United Nations calls on all people to lay down weapons and reaffirm their commitment to living in harmony with one another.

Today, as we mark the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace, this shared aspiration is more pressing than ever.

This year’s theme is “End racism.  Build peace.”  Racism poisons societies, normalizes discrimination and spurs violence.  We must fight it by countering hate speech, promoting dialogue and addressing the root causes of inequality.

Over the next 100 days and beyond, let us work to safeguard the human rights of all people and build peaceful and inclusive societies.  Together, we can realize the vision of a world free of racism and racial discrimination.

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