International Day of Peace, 21 September 2019, with the theme ‘Climate Action for Peace’ aims to promote peace worldwide by platforming the importance of combatting climate change on the 20th anniversary of the UN Resolution on the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.
World Peace Day in a Nutshell
“It is possible to achieve our goals, but we need decisions, political will and transformational policies to allow us to still live in peace with our own climate.”Secretary-General António Guterres, (United Nations, 15 May 2019)
Commonly known as World Peace Day, the International Day of Peace is devoted to strengthening ideas of peace around the world. This year the focus on climate action calls for the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goal 13. The goal stipulates the lowering of greenhouse emissions, building of resilience and improving of education on climate change as well as green solutions such as renewable energy and clean technologies (United Nations, 2019).
The United Nations’ Climate Action Summit convenes on 23 September and will focus on plans to accelerate the Paris Agreement’s implementation. Crucially, scrutiny will be placed by the UN Summit on the industrial sectors that cause the most green house gas emissions.
The proposal for World Peace Day this year recognises the integral link between environmental and human rights. The aim is to consolidate the wellbeing of our planet with the wellbeing of our species by encouraging political action and responsible global developments in favour of environmental sustainability.
Young people are key actors for peace
Children and young people are pivotal actors for peace and climate protection. Young people play a central role in raising awareness, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practises, promoting sustainable lifestyles and running educational programmes (United Nations, 2019).
This year, a Student Observance is to be live-streamed on 20 September from the United Nations Headquarters. Young people are to showcase their projects and initiatives to combat climate change, speaking to the drive of many young people who continue to make promising steps towards the mitigation and prevention of environmental disasters (United Nations, 2019).
Children are the future of peace and environmental protection. The wellbeing of our planet is in their hands, and we must work to the best of our ability in order to empower and enable young people in their efforts towards peace and sustainability.
Humanium supports Climate Action for Peace
Protecting our planet earth for the coming generations is a crucial responsibility. Humanium is committed to working towards a sustainable future, and sustainable development is one of the core principles on our ethics charter, comprising a fundamental element of our outlook which informs our humanitarian efforts at every step. We give priority to socio-economic development which is respectful of human beings and nature, for present and for future generations (make sure to read our Guide for Children to A Greener Planet: Parental Guidance).
Humanium’s projects in promotion of children’s rights are currently situated in Rwanda with local partner AVSI, and in Madhya Pradesh in India in partnership with Hand in Hand India. In Madhya Pradesh, we are helping to build a Residential Special Training Centre for 50 girls at risk of forced labour which we are immensely pleased to report is now successfully up and running, with 30 more girls to be housed in the weeks to come.
Climate Change Data Summarised (WMO, 2018).
- Over 2 million people displaced by weather and climate-linked disasters.
- Over 35 million people are affected by floods.
- Almost 62 million people are affected by natural hazards and extreme weather.
- 821 million people are undernourished partly due to drought.
- Internal displacements: 32% are linked to floods and 29% linked to droughts.
- Over 1600 deaths are linked to heatwaves and wildfires.
Peace as dependent on climate protection
This World Peace Day 2019 is a crucial reminder that the concept of peace must evolve. Peace can no longer be considered as fulfilled by merely the absence of conflict. Peace is much more than the lack of war. An understanding of peace as the realisation of safety and wellbeing for our entire planet, and all the species within it, can help us to act more boldly, to act more ambitiously in the face of severe global challenges.
At Humanium, we are happy to celebrate world peace day, and encourage everybody to engage with the urgent and imperative efforts being made worldwide on this occasion to protect planet earth and all who rely upon it.
“Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.”(Greta Thunberg, 2018).
Written by Josie Thum
Positive News, ‘The 16-year-old climate hero: five inspiring quotes by Greta Thunberg’ (2019), Retrieved from <https://www.positive.news/environment/the-16-year-old-climate-hero-five-inspiring-quotes-by-greta-thunberg/>, Accessed 31 August 2019.
United Nations, ’53/243 B. Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace’ (2019), Retrieved from <http://www.un-documents.net/a53r243b.htm>, Accessed 31 August 2019.
United Nations, ‘International Day of Peace’ (2019), Retrieved from <https://internationaldayofpeace.org>, Accessed 31 August 2019.
United Nations, ‘International Day of Peace 21 September’ (2019), Retrieved from <https://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/>, Accessed 31 August 2019.
World Meteorological Organisation (2018) quoted in United Nations, ‘State of the Climate in 2018 shows accelerating climate change impacts: Report’ (2019), Retrieved from: <https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/03/state-of-the-climate-in-2018-shows-accelerating-climate-change-impacts/>, Accessed 31 August 2019.