Today we observe the annual International Day of Peace – a day dedicated to ceasefire and non-violence. Peace is precious. It must be nurtured, maintained, defended.
That is why, each year on the International Day of Peace, I ring the Peace Bell at United Nations headquarters. And it is why – every day – I work for peace. I mediate between antagonists. I sound the alarm about threats – those we can see clearly, and others that lurk just over the horizon. I promote tolerance, justice and human rights, and I campaign for harmony among countries and peoples.
This year, Peace Day is dedicated to young people. This month marks the beginning of the International Year of Youth. Its theme of dialogue and mutual understanding captures the very essence of peace.
Young people today are at home with global diversity; comfortable in an interconnected world. Yet they are also vulnerable to the forces of extremism. So I say to all governments and our partners: let us do more for young people. Let us give them a world of peace and tolerance.
And I say to all young people: join us. Help us to work for peace. You are impatient. You see what we, your elders, allow to persist, year after year: poverty and hunger; injustice and impunity; environmental degradation.
With just five years remaining to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, I ask all, young and old, to help us to find global solutions to these global problems. Share your plans and ideas, act with creativity and passion. Help us fight for peace and prosperity for all.