Published in The Morung Express ::

“We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of the official observance of the International Day of Peace.

The Secretary-General asked combatants to lay down their arms “so all can breathe the air of peace” and called on people around the world to observe a minute of silence at noon and reflect on what peace means for the human family. “Our Organization is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, we have made much progress. But much remains to be done,” quoted a report released by the United Nations on Saturday.

This year’s theme is “Right of Peoples to Peace” in honour of the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace. Throughout this coming year, the UN will also commemorate its 70th anniversary and reaffirm a commitment to a central message that humanity’s sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security.

This year’s commemoration highlights the Human Rights up Front approach, which emphasizes the need for early action, the crucial role of responding early to human rights violations, and the importance of preventive efforts in the protection of civilians.

“Armed conflict causes untold grief to families, communities and entire countries,” Ban said, and lamented that “Too many are suffering today at the brutal hands of warmongers and terrorists.” He further urged the international community to “stand with them in solidarity.”

President of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, noted that the day is a reminder of the lives lost through war, property destroyed, families and communities torn apart and development efforts disrupted. “We should recommit our efforts towards the peaceful resolution of conflicts and the building of lasting peace,” he underscored. “It is our duty and collective responsibility to promote tolerance, dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes.”

Source: http://www.morungexpress.com/frontpage/121959.html