International Peace Day 2007On observance of the International Day of Peace the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes "Peace is the United Nations' highest calling".

International Peace Day 2007On observance of the International Day of Peace the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasizes "Peace is the United Nations' highest calling".

International Peace Day 2007UNITED NATIONS. The International Day of Peace was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence. The General Assembly called for people around the world to use the Day of Peace as an opportunity to promote peaceful resolution of conflict and to observe a cessation of hostilities during the day. Every year, people all over the world honour peace in various ways on 21 September.

The International Day of Peace is observed at United Nations Headquarters on 21 September beginning with the traditional Peace Bell ceremony conducted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Messengers of Peace.

In his message for the Day, the Secretary-General said that "Peace is the United Nations' highest calling. It defines our mission. It drives our discourse. And it draws together all of our world wide work, from peacekeeping and preventive diplomacy to promoting human rights and development."

The Secretary-General has called on the staff at Headquarters and people all over the world to observe one minute of silence at noon, local time, in the name of peace.

Over the past year, the United Nations has been involved in seeking resolution to several of the world's intractable conflicts. For example, the UN will host four high-level meetings, beginning on 21 September, bringing world leaders together to discuss ways the international community can assist the peace process in Darfur, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. On 24 September, he will convene a major meeting on climate change, an issue he has also linked to the pursuit of peace.

"I am under no illusion that these problems will be solved overnight. The solutions all involve a long road and hard work. Be assured that, as Secretary-General, I am committed to working intensely with the Member States on all these issues to achieve results", he said in a press briefing.

The UN, over the past year, has worked on several fronts to build peace, including by helping to implement democratic elections in countries emerging from conflict, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Timor-Leste and Sierra Leone.

In addition, a record number of blue berets and civilians-more than 100,000-- are serving on 19 UN peace operations around the world to build and keep peace.

Secretary-General Ban will ring the Japanese Peace Bell on the front lawn of the Secretariat Building at 9:30 a.m. in the company of UN Messengers of Peace Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, and Elie Wiesel. They will be flanked by students from the UN International School, dressed in their national costumes, and holding flags of the United Nations and all 192 UN Member States.

The ceremony will be followed by the annual Student Observance: 700 middle and high school students, including refugees from Peru and Sudan, as well as the Messengers of Peace, will exchange views on the theme "Peace: A Climate of Change" via video conference with young people at the UN missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon and Sudan.

On observance of the International Day of Peace the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon article on the situation in Darfur and UN contribution to peace settlement in this region was published throughout the world media, including Ukraine, in the weekly "Newspaper 2000".

For more information: http://www.un.org/events/peaceday/2007/index.shtml