In the midst of turmoil in today's world, it is important to remember that we, the whole of humanity, all need peace and love. As a former staff of the United Nations, for which I am very grateful, I am about to leave for a short-term assignment to work at the United Nations in New York during the General Assembly. Furthermore, as an artist, I strive to convey messages of peace and love through my art, especially that of the natural world which is conducive to empathy as opposed to egotism. Moreover, today I wish to share the meaning of the International Day of Peace and what the UN Secretary-General expressed to commemorate this very important day for our world.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, by observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. But achieving true peace entails much more than laying down arms. It requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race. As Secretary-General António Guterres has said:
“Racism continues to poison institutions, social structures, and everyday life in every society. It continues to be a driver of persistent inequality. And it continues to deny people their fundamental human rights. It destabilizes societies, undermines democracies, erodes the legitimacy of governments, and… the linkages between racism and gender inequality are unmistakable.”