September 21: United Nations International Day of Peace 2013

    | September 16, 2013

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    The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is Education for Peace.

    The Day is observed around the world every year on September 21. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) has declared that this day be devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among nations and peoples.

    The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. In 2001, the General Assembly established September 21 as an annual day of non-violence and ceasefire.

    The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, says: “It is not enough to teach children how to read, write and count. Education has to cultivate mutual respect for others and the world in which we live, and help people forge more just, inclusive and peaceful societies.”

    The Secretary General encourages everyone – governments, parties to conflicts, religious institutions, community leaders, the media, academics, and civil society groups – to play their part in creating the conditions for peace. He asks communities to support peace education programs, protect students and teachers from conflict, help rebuild schools destroyed by war, and ensure all girls and boys have access to a quality education that includes learning about resolving and preventing conflicts.

    There are several publications related to the International Day of Peace and the subject of peace in general on the UN website. You can find them here:

    There is also a bank of resources on the subject of Education for Peace at this link: