For information only - not an official document.
Press Release No: UNIS/SG/2634
Release Date: 25 August 2000
Secretary-General’s Message for International Day of Peace,
5 September

NEW YORK, 25 August (UN Headquarters) – Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message for the International Day of Peace, which is observed on 5 September:

Every year, the International Day of Peace is an occasion for the entire international community to come together and reflect on its successes and failures in the struggle for peace.  In 1981, the General Assembly decided that the opening day of its regular session in September should be officially devoted to "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and peoples".  Every year at this time, we ring the Peace Bell outside United Nations Headquarters, to make the commitment to world peace heard far and wide. 

This year is special.  As we observe the first International Day of Peace of the new millennium, we are also about to open the Millennium Summit.  That gives us a double motivation to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of peace and tolerance that the United Nations has symbolized throughout its history. 

This requires us to look at peace from many different perspectives.  It obliges us to look to the past and the present, but even more, to the future.  It should deepen our determination to give succeeding generations what the United Nations was created for 55 years ago:  freedom from fear, freedom from want, and the means to sustain our future on this planet.  This day should remind us that we can achieve that, if we only summon the will.

And so today, we look to the world's leaders to seize the opportunity of the Summit to build peace, and make it the truly historic occasion it should be.  Today, let us hear the bell of peace ring loud, clear and true in our conscience.  Let it ring out a century of cruelty and destruction, and ring in a millennium of hope and peace.

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