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UPF Statement on the UN International Day of Peace 2014

The Universal Peace Federation affirms the annual celebration of the International Day of Peace on September 21 and applauds the United Nations for initiating and promoting this day since 1981, when the General Assembly resolution 36/67 was passed. As stated on the UN website, "The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace."

The theme for the International Day of Peace 2014, scheduled for September 21, is "The Rights of Peoples to Peace."

UPF chapters around the world are encouraged to honor this day and this important theme by convening programs dedicated to the promotion of peace and human rights.

The concept of a "right to peace" was affirmed by the United Nations 30 years ago, with the understanding that peace is necessary as a foundation for human rights. With this in mind, UPF encourages its chapters to consider the following points of emphasis:

Individual responsibility: Along with human rights, there are human responsibilities. In order for human rights to be honored, respected and practiced, each individual should appreciate and practice his or her own portion of responsibilities. Likewise, in order for "we the peoples" to enjoy the "right of peace" it is necessary for each of us to work to build a world of peace, that is, a world of mutual respect and cooperation that goes beyond barriers of religion, ethnicity, culture and nationality.

Marriage and family: Marriage and family are the fundamental building blocks of society. When the family is healthy and stable, society becomes healthy and stable. When husband and wife love and respect one another, fully appreciative each one's value and each one's dignity, then respect for rights naturally follow. The family is the school of ethics and, in this capacity, the school of human rights. Through good parenting practices that underscore the value, dignity and rights of each and every human being, we move the world toward peace, one family at a time.

Interfaith cooperation: For many people of faith, human rights have their root and origin in our Creator. There are compelling arguments to suggest that the largely secularized understanding of human rights has its foundation in spiritual and religious understandings of human beings as inherently sacred, and each one equally valuable. The concept of human rights is a universal value that is affirmed by all religions the world over. As people of faith from throughout the world come together in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, they make necessary and significant steps toward building a world of lasting peace.  

Soft power approaches to peace: The evidence of the limitation of hard power approaches to peace is widespread. Although military options may at times be necessary to secure human rights, they are only a last resort.  At this time in history, soft power approaches to peace are needed more than ever. On the International Day of Peace, various "soft power" best practices can be shared, promoted and multiplied.

In conclusion, the UPF is proud to carry out programs for peace on this International Day of Peace 2014, focusing on the theme of "the rights of peoples to peace."       

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