UN Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis has said Bangladesh has been a strong advocate for peace nationally and internationally, and the United Nations in Bangladesh is happy to continue to accompany the country in this regard.

In a message marking the International Day of Peace that falls on September 21, the UNRC said the UN in Bangladesh would like to echo the universal and still timely message of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his speech in 1974 at the UN General Assembly "Peace is an imperative for the survival of humanity. It represents the deepest aspirations of men and women throughout the world".

Lewis said promoting peace and preventing violence, both at the international and national level, are at the core of the United Nations' mandate.

Every year for the past 41 years, she said, the UN has marked the International Day of Peace to uphold the ideal of peace and inspire a day of action for non-violence.

As violence makes headlines daily and socio-economic uncertainty undermines cohesion globally, Peace Day 2022 provides an opportunity for all peoples and governments around the world to commit to peace above differences, divides, and borders.

"It invites us to pause and think about what peace means and how it can be built and sustained," Lewis said.

This year's theme 'End Racism. Build Peace' reminds us all that peace means more than silencing the guns.

Building peace entails celebrating differences and leaving no one behind.

It means promoting societies where everyone, regardless of origin, sex, age, religion, opinion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, is treated in an equal manner and given the opportunity to flourish.

"Peace also requires a social contract and a shared vision between governments and their people and within societies," Lewis said.

Sustainable Development Goal 16 'Promote just, peace and inclusive societies for sustainable development' is the glue of Agenda 2030.

"Peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development; and development can help address causes and drivers of conflict and violence in the long run. On the opposite, violence, in all its forms, sets progress towards development back," she said.

"Peace should not be taken for granted. Sustaining peace and violence prevention requires intentional efforts and investments. It is the wise thing to do," she added.

Lewis said sustaining peace is everyone's business and everyone has a contribution to make.

"What is your contribution to peace in your family, community, country and in the world?"

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