It is a joy to share with you the theme chosen by the United Nations for the 2014 International Day of Peace:
Right to Peace.
This powerful theme is based on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s new “Rights up Front” campaign, launched in December 2013 to improve monitoring of human rights abuses before they erupt into violent conflict. Promoting respect for the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a core purpose of the United Nations. You can find more information about the Rights up Front initiative in an article athttps://www.un.org/apps/news//story.asp?NewsID=46778&Cr=human+rights&Cr1=#.Uu3OeCjvJjE.
A Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace was actually passed by the UN General Assembly in 1984 (see<http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r011.htm>). This declaration, “Solemnly proclaims that the peoples of our planet have a sacred right to peace.” Amen! The International Day of Peace will be an excellent opportunity to remind the countries of the world of their commitment.
This theme also reflects a history of civil society working to add the Human Right to Peace to the mission of the United Nations, which was founded to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” An alliance of civil society organizations working with Member States in Geneva has been engaged in a campaign since 2006 for the formal recognition of a Declaration for the Right to Peace by the UN Human Rights Council and subsequently by the UN General Assembly. There is further information at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/AdvisoryCommittee/Pages/RightToPeace.aspx.
The UN observance of Peace Day 2014 will take place the morning of Friday, September 19th, including the popular student observance. Schools may wish to coordinate their activities with this date. The day itself is on a Sunday, perfect for churches and for concerts. Peace One Day (http://peaceoneday.org) and MasterPeace (http://www.masterpeace.org) are planning major concert events in diverse cities around the world, and Playing for Change Day (http://playingforchangeday.org) will be on 20 September to align their worldwide music with the International Day of Peace.
We have heard reports from several parts of the world that International Day of Peace observances have already included readings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Let us honor this inspiring document this year, and add our own campaign for the Right to Peace on September 21st.l
Celebrate the UN International Day of Peace, 21 September - “Right to Peace!”