United Nations Days – September 21, International Day of Peace

September 21 ~ International Day of Peace (United Nations)
21 Eylül ~ Uluslararası Barış Günü

Today marks the International Day of Peace, declared by the United Nations General Assembly as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace across nations and people. The devotion to peace is not only a universally accepted, fundamental ideal, but it is also a key part of U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, the framework of broad and independent, yet targeted goals built on the principles for transforming the world systematically towards “[t]he future we want.”

Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16), “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,” envisions peaceful and inclusive societies in which access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels pave the way for sustainable
development. SDG 16 is but one of the 17 SDG’s adopted by U.N. member states in 2015. These goals are all parts of an orchestrated effort to achieve global peace through economic and social development for all people in a world where issues such as climate change,
social injustice, environmental risks, poverty, and hunger, are targeted with respect to specific benchmarks.

This year’s theme for the Day of Peace is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.” Indeed, December 10, 2018 will be the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly in Paris as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations. The Universal Declaration, a milestone document in the history of human rights, “recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race” according to U.N. Secretary-
General Antonio Guterres. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.
Justice and equality for everyone is the true indication of a peaceful society. Peace fosters a sustainable environment, which, in turn, promotes peace. And peace starts in the microcosm of our families, workplaces, communities and cities
as it expands to international relations across the globe. The United Nations encourages individuals to support SDG 16 by standing up for rights every day and seeking peaceful resolutions of conflict when they arise anywhere; it is with that spirit that we, as Ataturk Society of America, understand and celebrate this day. For it is one’s home where one’s rights, liberties and their pursuit of happiness starts
and the abstract concept of a home encapsulates not just one’s living quarters or house, but where they belong to, be it their (home) office, (home) town or (home) country. Therefore it is no coincidence that one of the most profound declarations for peace,
pronounced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in April 1931, emphasizes this integral principle, at home or in one’s own country, and across the globe: “Peace at home, peace in the world.”

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