21 September: International Day of Peace
International Day of Peace was observed across the world on 21 September 2016. The 2016 theme for the day is The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.
The day is dedicated to world peace, and specifically the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell was rung at UN Headquarters in New York City. The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as "a reminder of the human cost of war"; the inscription on its side reads, "Long live absolute world peace".
Earlier in September 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
The Sustainable Development Goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, as development and peace are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
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