PARIS, 16th May, 2019 (WAM) -- In a world in which we regularly witness tensions, acts of hatred, rejection of others and discrimination, the pursuit of peace and the will to live together harmoniously is more crucial than ever, said Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, in a message on the occasion of the International Day of Living Together in Peace on 16th May 2019.
''UNESCO, and the United Nations as a whole, is striving on a daily-basis to provide people with the means to achieve peace, not only because peace is one of the major goals of the 2030
Agenda, but also because it is a precondition for sustainable development and for the common good,'' she stated.
''Yet, the intensity of the challenges we face and the speed of the changes that are disrupting the world threaten the peace we are working towards – climate change, human mobility, increasing economic inequalities, social transformations and technological revolutions. These can only be properly addressed through collective engagement, and that is why, ever since 2017, we have been celebrating the International Day of Living Together in Peace on May 16.''
''On this day, we pay tribute to the efforts made by the international community to build peace, and call on all actors in societies to work in this direction. A key element to living together in peace is mutual understanding between peoples of different cultures. UNESCO, true to its mandate of building peace in the minds of men and women, is committed to promote cultures and cultural diversity in order to foster exchanges and understanding between peoples, as every culture contributes to building humanity as a whole,'' she added.
This International Day provides an opportunity to jointly reflect on ways and specific actions to improve living together, and foster an inclusive, peaceful and sustainable environment at every scale, in order for humanity to be able to live in peace as a whole. As Martin Luther King once said: "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". Rest assured that UNESCO is fully engaged in this mission,''she concluded.
Living together in peace is all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognise, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way.
The UN General-Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilising the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.
The Day invites countries to further promote reconciliation to help to ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.
Mrs. Mar?a Fernanda Espinosa Garces, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, said :''The celebration of the International Day of Living Together in Peace is providing a unique opportunity to recommit ourselves to our common principles and values of tolerance, inclusion and solidarity enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. It offers a forum to further mobilize the international community around the culture of peace and dialogue, both within and between nations.''
''The International Day of Living Together in Peace should be celebrated in all corners of the world, with a special emphasis on promoting dialogue and reconciliation, accepting our differences and respecting religious and cultural diversity. We must reiterate our desire to live and act together in order to build societies that are inclusive, peaceful and sustainable, throughout the whole world.''