What is the International Day of Peace?

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 21: The logo of the United Nations is seen in the General Assembly hall before heads of state begin to address the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly at UN Headquarters on September 21, 2021 in New York City. More than 100 heads of state or government are attending the session in person, although the size of delegations are smaller due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY (NewsNation Now) – The opening of this year’s United Nations General Assembly coincided with International Day of Peace, an annual holiday designed to encourage the UN’s message of global peace.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened Tuesday’s assembly with remarks championing the UN’s belief in pursuing global peace.

“Peace is not a naïve dream. It’s a light in the darkness. Guiding us to the only pathway to a better future for humanity,” he said.

Biden echoed that commitment in his own speech at the General Assembly, calling for a “comprehensive agenda for peace”

The United Nations established International Peace Day in 1981 as a part of its commitment to the goal of global peace. It later amended the day to be a formal day of non-violence and cease-fires for all UN member countries.

This year’s International Day of Peace is dedicated to the coronavirus pandemic. It encourages countries to rebuild in a peaceful and equitable way.

“Confronting this common enemy of humankind, we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we must make peace with one another,” the UN website notes.

The International Day of Peace and the accompanying cease-fires last 24 hours.

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