The International Day of Peace was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1981. Initially, it was devoted to the dissemination and rooting of the ideals of peace both in relations within states and peoples, and between them. However, since 2002, it has been ideologically reformatted. Now, the International Day of Peace is celebrated as a day of ceasefire and non-violence, when the UN calls on all countries and peoples to stop hostilities for 24 hours and hold festive educational events to support life without war.
Every year, the International Day of Peace is dedicated to a new theme, and 100 days before the date, the UN publishes an official message from the Secretary-General of the Organization to all people on Earth, urging them to observe the regime of non-violence.
The theme for 2021 is “Recovering better for a sustainable and equitable world”. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of collective efforts in providing help to each person in need for the recovering on the basis “better than it was” and the creation of more equitable, just, inclusive and sustainable world.
The pandemic hit disadvantaged and vulnerable populations in the first place. By April 2021, more than 687 million COVID-19 vaccinations had been made worldwide, but more than 100 countries had not received a single dose of the vaccine. People caught in conflict are particularly vulnerable due to lack of access to health services.
On 23 March 2020, the UN Secretary General called on the parties to all conflicts on the planet to end hostilities and allow people to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. According to the head of the UN, against the background of the rapidly spreading virus, the absurdity of the war has become even more obvious. The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on member states to maintain a “sustained humanitarian pause” in local conflicts. The global ceasefire must continue to be respected to ensure that people caught in conflict have access to life-saving vaccinations and treatment.
The pandemic is accompanied by an upsurge in stigma, discrimination and hatred that lead to loss of life. The virus attacks everyone. And it doesn’t matter where we come from and what religion we follow. Having faced with this common enemy of humanity, we must remember that we are not enemies to each other.
In turn, on the International Day of Peace, the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic Daria Morozova appeals to the parties to the armed conflict in Donbass with a call to strictly abide by the agreements on a full and indefinite ceasefire, which entered into force on 7 July 2020, as well as additional measures to strengthen and control it. This is the key to the settlement of the conflict and brings the long-awaited peace in our land.