Press Releases

19 September 2005

In Message for International Day, Secretary-General Says "Peace Is the Paramount United Nations Mission"

NEW YORK, 17 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the International Day for Peace, observed 21 September:

Peace is the paramount United Nations mission.

It is the basis of our existence.  The essence of our identity.  The cause that animates everything we do.

September 21, the International Day of Peace, is a day on which we reaffirm our commitment to this quest.

It is an opportunity to consider how to strengthen our system of collective security and the global partnership for development.

It is meant to be a day of global ceasefire, when all countries and all people stop all hostilities for the entire day.

And it is a day on which people around the world observe a minute of silence at 12 noon local time.

Twenty-four hours is not a long time.

But it is time enough for combatants and political leaders to consider the destruction they are visiting on their people, and on their lands.

And it is long enough to look over the barricades, or through the barbed wire, to see if there is another path.

On this International Day of Peace, let us honour those who have suffered from violence and armed conflict.

And let us pledge to do our utmost to carry out the important decisions on peace taken by last week's 2005 World Summit.

* *** *