Video Message to the Opening Ceremony of the Commemoration of the International Day of Peace 2012 & China-Southeast
On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls for a complete cessation of hostilities around the world. We also ask people everywhere to observe a minute of silence at noon local time to honor the victims: those who have lost their lives and those who have survived but must now cope with trauma and pain.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable future”. Armed conflicts attack the very pillars of sustainable development. Natural resources must be used for the benefit of society, not to finance wars. Children should be in school not recruited into armies. National budgets should focus on building human capacity, not deadly weapons. On the International Day of Peace, I call on combatants around the world to find a peaceful solution to their conflict. Let us all work together for a safe, just and prosperous future for all.
I thank the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament and the UN System in China for gathering to commemorate this day. I especially welcome your focus on military spending. Current levels of these expenditures are unconscionable and counter productive. They have vast human costs, they deprive the world of resources to achievement the Millennium Development Goals and address challenges such as climate change, disasters and diseases. Drastic cuts combined with investments in social and economic development are essential for ensuring human security. On the International Day of Peace, I urge the people of China to work even more closely with the United Nations at home and around the world for peace, development, human rights and rule of law.