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.
People who, fortunately, have never been involved in an armed confrontation may not fully understand the significance of this date. For those, in whose house the war has come, the theme of peace is a priority, and even one day of silence is happiness.
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 2020 is “Shaping Peace Together”. It reflects the main task and reason for the creation of the UN. Throughout the year, the Organization encourages people to participate in a global debate on how to jointly tackle accumulated global challenges (including climate change, the spread of poverty, racism and inequality).
One of the greatest challenges of our time is to find a way to use the COVID-19 crisis as a tool for peace. The pandemic has shown that in this difficult period all countries need to unite to confront the common enemy, that is a virus that causes massive suffering and threatens to nullify decades of progress. That is why, in the midst of a pandemic, the Organization called on all the warring countries to end the confrontation.
“This is not an ordinary time, and our response cannot be routine. A pandemic is not only a health issue. It has an immediate and alarming impact on development, peace and security, – the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his annual message. – I hope that these dialogues and the International Day of Peace will be another occasion to exchange ideas on how we can achieve a global ceasefire, heal our planet and turn the crisis caused by COVID-19 into an opportunity to achieve peace. Let’s do better than we have to build a more open and peaceful society. ”
In turn, on the International Day of Peace, the Human rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic Daria Morozova appeals to the parties of the armed conflict in Donbas to maintain agreements on full and open-ended measures to its strengthening and control, which entered into force of 27 July 2020. This is the key to the settlement of the conflict and brings the long-awaited peace on our land.