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International Day of Peace 2016

The International Day of Peace falls on 21 September. Every year on this day, the United Nations calls on the people of the world to remember their common humanity and join together to build a future free of strife. The theme for 2016, “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”, highlights how ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for everyone, all contribute to global harmony. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at a historic summit in September 2015.

“Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind.”
- UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
“Peace is a frequently challenged and precarious balancing act. The UN Global Goals address areas that need to be improved and sustainably maintained to keep this balance. The International Day of Peace is a wake-up call and a reminder to all of us to contribute to this common cause. The active interactions of societies today are followed by new challenges that need to be addressed in constructive ways in order to be successfully resolved. Unity should not be taken as a threat to diversity but as a source of strength facilitating new opportunities and prosperity for the next generations.”
- IDEA Society Founder and Chairman, Dr. Stefan Stoev

VIC United Nations: Dr. Stefan Stoev, Chairman of IDEA Society; Artist Regina Hügli; Peter Haider, Director General UPF Austria; Lilach Guitar, Cultural Attachée Swiss Embassy in Austria; Mag. Markus Kuhn, BA, Assistent Press / Culture / Science Swiss Embassy in Austria; Artist Lea Fuchs

Peace Bell at the United Nations: Lilach Guitar, Cultural Attachée Swiss Embassy in Austria and Dr. Stefan Stoev, Chairman of IDEA Society

Friday, September 16, 2016, 10am - 5pm

Vienna International Centre, C Building - Conference Room C3, Wagramer Straße 5, A-1400 Vienna, Austria

In honor of the UN's International Day of Peace, an innovative event will be held in Vienna on September 16, 2016: a look at the intergenerational challenges of peace through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The compelling combination of international speakers and panelists ranges from diplomats, academics, and civil society leaders to UN officials, and public-policy experts. In a unique approach, speakers will also include female WWII witnesses from across the world, including an atomic bomb survivor, a woman who lived through the Blitz bombings in England, and an Austrian subjected to deportation and forced labor. Youth will be incorporated into the event both as audience members and as musical performers.

Sponsored by the Universal Peace Federation and the Academic Council on the United Nations System, this event aims to animate the SDGs with historical context, contemporary realities, and forward-looking vision.

Insightful and frank discussions will focus on the connection between peace and the implementation of various SDGs, including the topics of disarmament and public engagement.

Program (Download as PDF)

Peace and Sustainable Development: The Intergenerational Challenges

Session One: Connecting Peace and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

10:00-11:00 Opening speeches

Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC

Ambassador Bente Angell-Hansen (Norway)

Dr. Walter Kemp, Vice President, International Peace Institute

Brigadier Dr. Walter Feichtinger, Austrian Defense Academy

11:00-11:30 Witnessing history, looking ahead

Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations Rosina Wernig, Austrian WWII witness

Musical performance: Students from the Slovenian music school in Carinthia

11:30-12:30 Panel discussion What is the connection between peace and the implementation of various SDGs?

Chair: Ambassador Ana Teresa Dengo, University for Peace

Maria-Jose Alvear, Regional Academy on the United Nations (CTBTO)

Dr. Michael Platzer, Liaison, Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS)

Dr. Stefan Stoev, Founder, IDEA Society

Dr. Ismail Yasin, Austrian Center for Digital Humanities, Austrian Academy of Sciences

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:30 Peace Bell ringing

Dennis Thatchaichawalit, Deputy Director-General of UNOV

Musical performance: ‘Suprera’ singers from Kinders film

Session Two: Peace, Sustainable Development, Disarmament and Engaging the Public

14:30-14:45 Clip from Kinders film

14:45-15:15 Speeches

Arash T Riahi, Film Director, Kinders

Jack Corley, Chair, Universal Peace Federation in Europe

Ambassador Franz Josef Kuglitsch, Director Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, BMEIA

15:15-16:00 Witnessing history, looking ahead

Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations Hazel Richardson, English WWII witness

Ambassador Mitsuru Kitano, Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna

Reiko Yamada, Japanese WWII witness

16:00-17:00 Panel discussion

What is the connection between peace, disarmament and the implementation of various SDGs? How can the general public become more engaged?

Chair: Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

Billy Batware, President, United for Education and Sustainable Futures

Petra Bayr, Member of Austrian Parliament Nadja Schmidt, Director, ICAN Austria

Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

17:00 Conference closing

The fourth edition of the Geneva Peace Talks on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room XVII at the Palais des Nations, followed by a reception.

The theme of the Geneva Peace Talks this year is “Peace Happens!”. Even in the most hostile and challenging environments, there are many peace initiatives taking place. This year’s Geneva Peace Talks will look to bring these initiatives and the people behind them to light.

Speakers coming from diverse backgrounds will share their personal experiences, stories and ideas to highlight how Peace Happens. This event aims to illustrate that everyone can contribute to peace – be it at home or in a far-away conflict zone. For more information on this year’s edition of the Geneva Peace Talks, please see:

This year's Geneva Peace Talks are co-organized by the United Nations Office at Geneva, the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and Interpeace, in partnership with the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and the Global Shapers Community Geneva.


The Education Outreach Section of the United Nations Department of Public Information would greatly appreciate your support in mobilizing youth throughout the world to submit videos for a new initiative. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 have been invited to submit 10- to 15-second videos in English on how the Sustainable Development Goals can build peace. The most engaging videos will be featured on the United Nations International Day of Peace YouTube channel. Some will even be shown at an official event at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 16 September.

On 16 September 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General celebrated the Day in the Peace Garden at United Nations Headquarters by ringing the Peace Bell and observing a minute of silence. Women Nobel Peace Prize laureates and the United Nations Messengers of Peace were invited to participate in the ceremony. The United Nations Education Outreach Section held a global student video-conference on the same day, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., also at United Nations Headquarters.

Check out videos by youth from around the globe on how the Goals can help build peace!

Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe

"Sustainable Development Goals: Improve Life All Around The Globe" is a hip hop music video that was produced by FlocabularyExternal link in partnership with the Education Outreach Section of the Outreach Division of the United Nations Department of Public Information. It aims to teach young people throughout the world about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and how they can help build peace.


Österreichische Kulturinitiative zum internationalen Weltfriedenstag

Der Kulturverein IDEA Society  und der Verein Österreichischer Auslandsdienst wollen gemeinsam ein weltweites Zeichen zum Internationalen Weltfriedenstag am 21. September 2016 setzen.

Junge Menschen aus Österreich werden zum Internationalen Weltfriedenstag die österreichische Kunstsammlung für Weltfrieden PANGAEA, mit Arbeiten internationaler Künstler mit Migrationshintergrund, am 21. September gleichzeitig an mehreren Orten vorführen, um aufzuzeigen wie sich die jungen Menschen aus Österreich weltweit für eine gute Sache einsetzen.

Mit diesem Zeichen soll zum Internationalen Weltfriedenstag Österreichs Solidarität, Multikulturalität und Beitrag zum Weltfrieden verdeutlicht werden.

Bedeutende Österreicher aus Gesellschaft und Politik werden eingeladen Grußworte zur Initiative abzugeben die Online veröffentlicht werden.

Dr. Stefan Stoev, Gründer & Obmann, Verein IDEA Society

Prof. Dr. Andreas Maislinger, Gründer & Vorsitzender, Verein Österreichischer Auslandsdienst

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