We are failing the cause of peace
The UN commemorates International Peace Day on September 21.

Dear Editor,

Peace is a noble and necessary pursuit, and the only practical pathway to a better, fairer world for all people.

Yet, in too many places, in too many contexts, we are failing the cause of peace.

The theme of this year's International Day of Peace, 'End Racism, Build Peace', reminds us of the many ways racism poisons people's hearts and minds and erodes the peace we all seek.

Racism robs people of their rights and dignity. It inflames inequalities and mistrust. And it pushes people apart at a time when we should be coming together as one human family to repair our fractured world.

Instead of fighting each other, we should be working to defeat our true enemies: racism, poverty, inequality, conflict, the climate crisis, and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

We should tear down structures that sustain racism and lift up human rights movements everywhere.

And we should drown out the vicious voices of hate speech with a united and sustained cry for truth, understanding, and mutual respect.

International Day of Peace was celebrated on September 21. It was a day dedicated to observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire. We renew our call for all people to do more than lay down their weapons.

We call on them to reaffirm the bonds of solidarity we share as human beings and get down to the business of building a better, more peaceful world.

António Guterres

UN secretary general

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