14, Sep

IPA at the United Nations – The Right of Peoples to Peace

Author: admin2

“And into any house which you enter, first say “Peace be to this house”   Luke 10:51


Each year on September 21, the UN invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities and commemorate the International Day of Peace through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. The theme for 2014 is “The Right of Peoples to Peace,” marking the 30th anniversary of the UN General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.

On Sunday, September 21, millions of people around the world will participate in activities, events, concerts and festivals to celebrate the International Day of Peace. At noon in every time zone, a moment of silence will be held, sending a Peace Wave around the world.

The Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations begins with the statement “WE the people of the United nations” determined to….and Chapter one of the charter sets out the Purpose and principles of the UN as follows: Article 1: The Purposes of the United Nations are:

  • To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
  • To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
  • To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion;
  • To be a Centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

But today when we look around, we see that the members of the United Nations themselves are engaged in war, violence and territorial violations. Every year we organize new programs under new themes, spending huge amount of money as if that is the answer to peace. We rarely ask, what is at the heart of such conflicts and the role an unjust economic system play in keeping alive war and conflict?

Has the time come for the civil society to own the charter and play a more constructive role? Can the new Universe story give us a lead in affirming the interconnectedness of all of creation and the need to live in harmony with each other and the planet? Maybe since peace begins in the heart of the individuals we could be facilitators of peace by living and inviting others to live as good neighbors to each other respecting the Human Rights of the other for their dignity and rights as equals. Is it time to fight the greed in ourselves and in the systems that we work with? Can this year’s celebration of International Day of Peace give us the resolve to respect and promote the Human Rights of individuals and communities for a fair share of opportunities and resources and for a more just and equitable society? This will lead to a more permanent peace.  Could it be related to climate justice too?




And into any house which you enter, first say “Peace be to this house”   Luke 10:51

And into any house which you enter, first say “Peace be to this house”   Luke 10:51



By Elsa Muttathu, NGO







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