September 19th, 2014 11:04 EST
UN Marks 'International Day of Peace'
With John Lennon`s iconic song Imagine " as the backdrop, the United Nations today marked the International Day of Peace underscoring that all people have the right to peace.
We must douse the fires of extremism and tackle the root causes of conflict, " Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said ahead of the official observance of the Day, 21 September, which this year falls on Sunday.
As on each year since the Day was created in 1981, the Secretary-General asked combatants to lay down their arms so all can breathe the air of peace. " He also called on people around the world to observe a minute of silence at noon and reflect on what peace means for the human family.
Our Organization is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, We have made much progress. But much remains to be done
Among the highlights of this year`s events, Yoko Ono contributed John Lennon`s song Imagine, " which was originally released by the former Beatle in 1971.
This song is really important for the world, " Ms. Ono said in a UN interview. In a sense that he was really stating what should be done to bring world peace. "
While Mr. Lennon`s lyrics imagine all the people living life in peace " have not come true, Ms. Ono said she believes the world is moving in the right direction.
We have to have patience and hope, " she said. When we did the bed-in in 1969 things were so bad, no one wanted to know about world peace. Now I think that 99 per cent of the people in the world are really hoping. So that`s a real difference. "
In a world of turbulence and conflict, she advocated for people to change their own perceptions before trying to change the world.
Surrender to peace, think peace, act peace and spread peace, and imagine peace, " she summed.
The theme of this year`s International Day of Peace is Right of Peoples to Peace " in honour of the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace.
Throughout this coming year, the UN will also commemorate its 70th anniversary and reaffirm a commitment to the Organization`s purposes and principles, and its central message that humanity`s sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security.
Our Organization is founded on the pledge to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, " Mr. Ban said ahead of the annual Peace Bell ringing ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York. We have made much progress. But much remains to be done. "
The Peace Bell is a gift from Japan that hangs from a wooden beam in the rose garden in front of UN Headquarters. It has tolled every year since 1981, when the UN General Assembly established the Day to coincide with the opening of its annual session in September.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia