United Nations peacekeeping helps nurture peace in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Today and every day, we salute the dedication and bravery of our peacekeepers in helping societies turn away from war and towards a safer, more stable future. UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on 21 September. It was established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution. It provides globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and contribute to building a Culture of Peace. In the face of a pandemic, it is all the more important to observe this day to recover in a more peaceful and resilient manner.

The theme for 2021: Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world

As we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we should collectively create a more equitable, just, and resilient future for ourselves. We should acknowledge the interconnected world that we live in and that mutual cooperation and peace is the only way in which we can build a resilient future for ourselves. It became obvious that any challenge attacks the entire humanity without caring about where we are from and what we believe in.

The pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred, which only cost more lives instead of saving them. In confronting humankind’s current and future challenges, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another and with nature.

As the theme for this year suggests, we must focus on celebrating peace by standing up against acts of hate online and offline and by spreading compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the pandemic, and as we recover.

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Shristi Banerjee

Lawyer, Jharkhand High Court (India)

Global Representative (India), Roya Institute of Global Justice