United Nations, Sep 22: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire and "stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace" as the United Nations observed the International Day of Peace.
The UN chief made the call at the Peace Bell ceremony, which kicked off a series of events at UN Headquarters in New York for the day, which is observed annually on September 21 and whose theme this year is "Partnerships for Peace -- Dignity for All."
"We live at a moment of peril," he said in his message for the day, drawing attention to the fact that "this is also an era of great promise."
"In a matter of days, leaders from across the globe will gather at the United Nations to adopt the 2030 Agenda, our 15-year plan to achieve sustainable development," the secretary-general said.
The International Day of Peace was set up in 1981 by the General Assembly to coincide with the opening of its session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September.
The first Peace Day was observed in September 1982. And in 2001, the General Assembly established September 21 as an annual day of non-violence and ceasefire.