The International Day of Peace, also known officially as World Peace Day, was first celebrated in 1981 and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and people. World Peace Day  is a United Nations-sanctioned holiday observed annually on 21 September. It 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 2021 World Peace Day is themed “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.” 

In his address, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, said “this year’s International Day of Peace comes at a crisis point for humanity.  COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down. Conflicts are spinning out of control.  The climate emergency is worsening. Inequality and poverty are deepening, and mistrust and division are driving people apart at a time when solidarity and collaboration are needed more than ever. As a human family, we face a stark choice — peace or perpetual peril. We must choose peace. 

To commemorate the 2021 World Peace Day, we have put together seven solid quotes on peace from global thought leaders, for you to reflect on. 

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

“Peace and security are the barest irreducible conditions for social and economic development.” – Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) 

Rigoberta Menchu Tum 

“Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples.” – Rigoberta Menchu Tum (Guatemalan Feminist, Indigenous Rights Activist and Peacemaker)

John F. Kennedy 

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy (35th President of the United States of America)

Benazir Bhutto

“I have found that those who do achieve peace never acquiesce to obstacles, especially those constructed of bigotry, intolerance, and inflexible tradition.” – Benazir Bhutto (Former Pakistani Prime Minister, first female to head a Muslim state)

Hafsat Abiola

“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” – Hafsat Abiola (Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist)

Martin Luther King Jr.

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” – Martin Luther King Jr. (Human Rights Activist)

Mairead Maguire

“If we want to reap the harvest of peace and justice in the future, we will have to sow seeds of nonviolence here and now, in the present.” – Mairead Maguire (Irish Peace Activist and Nobel Peace Laureate)

In conclusion, it should go beyond just the quotes. We should all as individuals abandon the barriers of race, social class, religious, cultural and political differences that we have put in place that have totally destroyed peace in nations, families and personal lives. Let us once again embrace peace and thrive to be better humans for the sake of all humanity.  

References: Wikipedia, UN.org

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