Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. It is also a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, which is crucial for humanitarian aid access. To inaugurate the day, the United Nations Peace Bell is rung at UN Headquarters (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”; the inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace“.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace is the “Right of Peoples to Peace”. The Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace recognizes that the promotion of peace is vital for the full enjoyment of all human rights.
Last year theme was "Education for Peace". In his speech Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that education is vital for fostering global citizenship and building peaceful societies. "On this International Day of Peace, let us pledge to teach our children the value of tolerance and mutual respect. Let us invest in the schools and teachers that will build a fair and inclusive world that embraces diversity. Let us fight for peace and defend it with all our might."
He launched the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) in September 2012 to spur renewed efforts to reach global education goals. By rallying a broad spectrum of world leaders and advocates, GEFI aims to raise the political profile of education, inspire new partnerships and mobilize additional funding to deliver on the promise of Education for All.