International Day of Peace 2012 Video Message, Peace International Foundation

Sep 21, 2012

International Day of Peace 2012 Video Message
Peace International Foundation

by Renata Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator in China

21 September 2012, Hong Kong


I’m so delighted and grateful that you have all gathered today to commemorate  the International Day of Peace in Hong Kong.  I wish that I could be with you on this significant day, but unfortunately scheduling challenges prevented me from coming.  I’d like to thank the Peace International Foundation for their dedicated service in organising this event, both this year and in many previous years. And I thank both the Foundation and all of you for the valuable work you all do for peace.

For over thirty years, people around the world have come together on the International Day of Peace to reflect on the value of peace and on the toll that war and conflict take on our lives, and on the lives of our children and future generations. We also pause to recommit ourselves resolutely to the pursuit of peace, in our own lives and in the world around us. 

Peace is humanity’s most precious asset.  It underscores our greatest achievements, our fundamental wellbeing, our happiness and our progress.  Yet it is also among our most undervalued assets.  It is like good health; we often take it for granted and only remember how much we need it once it’s gone.  When we’re healthy, we focus on other things; sometimes we even gamble with our health.  But the moment we fall sick, how we pine for good health again!  Likewise, we often take peace granted.  We don’t value it enough until it disappears and conflicts erupt.

So the observance of the International Day of Peace is very important.  It reminds us of the fundamental imperative of peace in our lives. 

We all know that peace is not the mere absence of war.  But neither is peace merely tolerance and respectful behaviour between people and nations, although that certainly helps.  No, peace is much more.  In its essence, peace is the dynamic and energetic presence of love, harmony and oneness in the world family.  It is the essential inter-connectedness between all human beings, and it is the harmony between us and our natural environment. 

While peace lies at the heart of the United Nation’s mission, the UN can do very little unless member states and people around the world do their part.  Mahatma Gandhi once said “be the change you want to see in the world”.  Perhaps nowhere is this wisdom more telling than when it comes to peace.  Peace begins at home, in ourselves, in the inmost recesses of our hearts.  And every effort, every good action taken for peace, by individuals and by nations, counts.  So today, on this International Day of Peace, let us all resolve to cultivate peace more resolutely in our daily lives, and to inspire those around us to do more for peace.  Be it through great works for the common good or simple acts of kindness, we can all do our part to build sustainable peace for a sustainable future for all...    

Thank you and I wish you a very meaningful and peaceful International Day of Peace!