2006 Event


UN Celebrates International Day of Peace

21 September, 2006

On 21 September 2006, United Nations staff and representatives of the Member States celebrated the annual International Day of Peace at UN Headquarters. In his opening message Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted that while the gift of peace goes unmarked in a strong society, peace remained “an elusive dream” for many people around the world. The Secretary-General stressed the ways in which the UN promotes peace, from preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping missions to the promotion of human rights and efforts to support democracy.

The Secretary-General then called upon the participants to observe a minute of silence. Mr. Annan rang the Peace Bell, a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan cast from pennies donated by children in 60 countries, for the last time during his term of office.

Five UN Peace Messengers, author and journalist Anna Cataldi; actor Michael Douglas; wildlife researcher and conservationist Jane Goodall; Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; and tennis champion and actor Vijay Armitraj stood by as the Secretary-General appointed the newest Peace Messenger, cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Children waved flags of the 192 Member States during the musician’s first performance as a UN Peace Messenger.

Throughout the world United Nations offices, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and civil society and religious groups celebrated the occasion in numerous commemorative events and activities. Established in 1981, the International Day of Peace is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations, and calls upon all peoples to engage in a cessation of hostilities.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Secretary-General Kofi Annan

The Secretary-General addresses the UN community

The Secretary-General addresses
the UN community