Celebrating #InternationalDayofPeace 2023: Action for peace as the antidote to violence
The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, was first commemorated in 1981 when the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the third Tuesday of September as the day to commemorate and celebrate peace on a global scale. Two decades later, in 2001, the UNGA unanimously voted to designate the day to be observed annually on September 21. This day marks not only a time to reflect on ways of promoting and maintaining peace among all people but also a 24-hour period of global ceasefire and non-violence for groups in active combat.
The theme for the 2023 World Peace Day is ‘Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals’. It calls for individual and collective action in fostering peace to contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This, in turn, will cultivate a culture of peace for all. The actions for peace highlighted by the United Nations for this year’s World Peace Day include fighting inequality, driving action on climate change, as well as promoting and protecting human rights
One of many generalised explanations for the causes of conflicts and wars is the human nature’s instinct to pursue and compete for security in all sectors of life-economically, politically, socially, and even culturally. It is unsurprising, then, that war and conflict have been as constant in human history as humans themselves. We talk about peace because there is violence, conflicts, and wars in Africa and all over the world. It is important to talk about peace because it is the key antidote to violence and unrest.
This year’s theme of World Peace Day optimally and eloquently links action for peace and the achievement of SDGs, as these two phenomena are literally inseparable. This is because SDGs aim to bring the world closer to having more peaceful, just, and inclusive societies free from fear and violence. In a world without peace, it is practically impossible to achieve SDGs. As such, peace and development are two sides of the same coin that need to go together if we are to attain continental and global peace, prosperity, and equity.
Freedom from violence is one of the three research focal areas of the programmes under the Future Africa Global Equity in Africa Research Chair at the University of Pretoria. The Chair joins the United Nation’s call to take action for peace and recognises the importance of pursuing strategies to address conflicts and state-sponsored violence. This will position Africa not only as a major beneficiary of global peace and prosperity but also as a contributor to that objective.
Article submitted by Dr Irene Nyakagere Thomas - postdoctoral fellow within the Future Africa Global Equity in Africa Research Chair.
It is important to talk about peace because it is the key antidote to violence and unrest.
Dr Irene Nyakagere Thomas - postdoctoral fellow at the Future Africa Global Equity in Africa Research Chair
About the Future Africa Global Equity in Africa Research Chair
The Chair was established in March 2023 with the broad objective to pursue multi-perspective strategies for global prosperity and peace.