UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for redoubling efforts to address the root causes of conflict and advance work for the Sustainable Development Goals including by promoting inclusive societies
“Let us stand up for human rights for all in the name of peace for all,” he said seeking steps to provide access to justice and building accountable institutions.The UN chief made the call in a message for 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace on Wednesday.
The International Day of Peace, observed every year on September 21, embodies shared aspiration to end conflict in all its forms and to safeguard the human rights of all people.
“It is a day on which the United Nations calls for a 24-hour global ceasefire, with the hope that one day in our lifetime we will witness an end to violence,” Guterres said.
He said yet there is more to achieving peace than laying down weapons. “True peace requires standing up for the human rights of all the world’s people.”
That is why, the UN chief said, this year’s theme for the International Day of Peace is: “The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”.
In another message on Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General urged all to raise awareness about the plight of people with albinism.He said International Albinism Awareness Day is an opportunity to declare solidarity with people with albinism.
The UN chief said it is also an opportunity to strive together so those who are often left furthest behind are able to live free from discrimination and fear, and empowered to enjoy their full human rights.
“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development promises to leave no one behind,” said the UN chief in a message marking International Albinism Awareness Day.
Guterres said albinism is a genetic condition that affects people throughout the world, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. “Yet, tragically, people with albinism continue to suffer widespread discrimination, stigma and social exclusion. Very many, including children and women, are extremely vulnerable, isolated and subject to abuse and violence.”
He said the endorsement of a Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa by the African
Commission on Human and People’s Rights as well as by the Pan African Parliament is a key step forward.