Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Day of Peace

21 September

The International Day of Peace celebrates the power of global solidarity for building a peaceful and sustainable world.

This has never been so important at a time of unprecedented challenges. New forces of division have emerged, spreading hatred and intolerance. Terrorism is fuelling violence, while violent extremism seek to poison the minds of the vulnerable and young. In the poorest and least-developed parts of the world, climate-related natural disasters are compounding existing fragility, increasing forced migration and heightening the risk of violence.

The barriers to peace are complex and steep -- no one country can solve them alone. Doing so requires new forms of solidarity and joint action, starting as early as possible.

Establishing a culture of peace and sustainable development are at the heart of UNESCO’s mandate. Training and research in sustainable development are among the priorities, as well as human rights education, skills for peaceful relations, good governance, Holocaust remembrance, the prevention of conflict and peace building.


"The ideals of peace and universal rights are challenged and violated on a daily basis. There are numerous obstacles to their realization. All kinds of challenges test our ability to build a world of harmony, understanding and peaceful coexistence: social and economic inequalities, which lead to distress and poverty; climate change, which gives rise to new conflicts; and the population explosion, which creates new tensions. Forms of populism and extremism are also spreading all over the world.

To overcome these challenges, we must act collectively and build the edifice of peace brick by brick. That is the whole aim of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls for concerted action to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals, all of which contribute to a more just and peaceful world by, inter alia, combating poverty, hunger and gender inequality, promoting education, defending justice and committing to a healthy environment."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General

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