Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World
by Sean Morrissey
“Peace is the United Nations’ highest calling”, declared UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2007, “It defines our mission. It drives our discourse. And it draws together all of our worldwide work, from peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy to promoting human rights and development.” From its 1982 debut, International Peace Day has sought to reimagine a world without conflict, where humanitarian diplomacy is powerful and effective. September 21st marks a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire, and a reminder of what can be.
The International Peace Day theme for 2021 is “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World”, which, given our global journey these past many months, feels especially fitting. The challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how interconnected our international community is, and how fragile and resilient we are in the face of unprecedented change.
As we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
The pandemic has had an impact on the whole world and although vaccines are available, over 100 countries have not yet received a single dose. People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare. The International Day of Peace is a day for reflection for all.
This year will see people in nations around the world come together in their shared vision of a more peaceful future, through local advocacy, exhibitions, and intergenerational dialogue. There is no limit to what we can do, and no gesture is too small that’s made in love.