Seventy-eight years ago, the world wars ended which brought the United Nations into existence to keep the peace among nations, unfortunately, an alarming rate of wars, skirmishes, and existential crises lingers on till today.

 Consequently, the observance of internationally celebrated and significant days marked by the United Nations like the International Day of Living Together in Peace is important to promote world peace and coexistence among nations of the world. 

Now, more than 78 years later, the United Nations is still working to maintain international peace and security, give humanitarian assistance to those in need, protect human rights, and uphold international law. 

A day that not only symbolizes a sense of tranquility, harmony, and the absence of any form of violence but also one that calls for cooperation from the international community to combat international problems and offer dialogue where necessary. 

Globally, living in peace connotes being united in differences and diversity which will bring about accepting the differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect, and appreciate others, as well as living peacefully. 

The United Nations and its in-house organizations are front runners in setting the accepted standard for world peace.

The UN General Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding, and solidarity. 

The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity, and harmony. 

The Day invites countries to further promote reconciliation to help ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders, and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals. 

Following the devastation of the Second World War, the United Nations was established to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. 

One of its purposes is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, including by promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.

 In 1997, the General Assembly proclaimed – by its resolution 52/15 — the year 2000 as the “International Year for a Culture of Peace”. 

In 1998, it proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World.” 

 In 1999, The General Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations. 

The declaration came about as a result of the long-held and cherished concept contained within the Constitution of UNESCO that says “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” 

The Declaration embraces the principle that peace is not merely the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic participatory process, in which dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are resolved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. 

The Declaration also recognizes that to fulfill such an aspiration, there is a need to eliminate all forms of discrimination and intolerance, including those based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. 

Despite the vast resources available at the disposal of the United Nations and the steps it had taken to curb conflict, there have been recently improved international conflicts which have seen key players like Russia and China coming together to ally at the time of the former war with Ukraine. 

United in diversity as a theme of the International Day of living together in peace is not being taken into account following the war between Israel and Palestine which has been going on since the 7th of October, 2023. 

Hamas-led Palestinian forces have been engaged in an armed conflict with the state of Israel in the Gaza Strip and recently in the Israeli-occupied West Bank which has sparked controversial international interference while claiming the lives of so many civilians and military personnel, both of Israel and Palestinian descent. 

This 7-month-old war has opened the doorway for other militant groups like Hezbollah who have been seen to join the ongoing war between these two states and attack Israel along the Israel- Lebanon-Golan Heights border where they both exchange war instruments. 

Photo source: Amnesty International

At the base of these wars are international sponsors who fund the war using ally budget spending, just like in the case of the United States of America sponsoring the Ukrainian side in the Russia-Ukraine war and the Israeli offense in the Israel-Palestine war. 

Some persons, the majority of whom belong to the American Congress have asked that the federal budget given or spent on things and allied countries should be scrapped off. 

The inter-state armed machinery is currently exhibiting chaos and disorder arising from religious and political tensions between the neighbors of the Middle East. 

The International Day of Living Together in Peace is, therefore, a reminder to all states and people of the world that irrespective of ethnic, national, political, and economic status, we can choose to mediate and relate with each other through dialogue rather than fighting on the Frontline. 

 The international community is not alone when faced with armed conflict but this is also present in countries like Nigeria amongst other nations of the world where Insurgents, bandits, Terrorists, serial kidnappers, and secession agents are on the loose and have made a considerable negative impact on the economic and social climate of the country as a whole. 

The Hope for a day of peace where Nigerians and the world at large choose to embrace love, tolerance, and mediation/ diplomacy rather than take up arms to combat each other is a day many people intend to witness. 

The International Day of Living Together in Peace is a symbol that represents the reminder for all of us to play our parts in coexisting with, respecting, and recognizing the fact that we all come from diverse backgrounds, ethnic groups, and cultures and practice different religions, and this should prompt us to take concrete steps in the right direction to achieve lasting peace, mutual understanding and harmony in our society.

3 thoughts on “WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF LIVING TOGETHER IN PEACE”
  1. Its not easy living in peace with other race because humans are bent of their fear for things that can be easily faced head on. Left for I would love to have world peace.

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