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(United Nations Country Team in Jamaica group shot. Mona Bowl, University of West Indies-UWI, Kingston, Jamaica. 21 September, 2011. Photo UNICEF Jamaica/Allison Hickling)
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared September 21 as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. This year - on its 30th anniversary - the Day's theme was "Peace and Democracy: make your voice heard".
"Peace is our mission; our day-to-day quest. Democracy is a core value of the United Nations. It is crucial for human rights. It provides channels for resolving differences. It gives hope to the marginalized... and power to the people. But democracy does not just happen; it has to be nurtured... and defended", stated Secretary General Ban Ki -moon in his message for the International Day of Peace.
To mark the Day, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) supported the Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) in a Race for Peace. The event was also a fundraiser for the VPA's Learning centers throughout the Island, a programme which targets some of the most marginalized, unattached corner youth in Jamaican society. The United Nations Country Team is among the proud contributors to the fundraising effort.
Over 30 members of staff and Heads of the United Nations Development Programme -UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA, The United Nations Children's Fund-UNICEF, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AID-UNAIDS, United Nations Department of Safety and Security-UNDSS and the Pan American Health Organization-PAHO enthusiastically took part in the Lapathon and in the Informative Fair where the UN booth highlighted key UN- supported initiatives for Peace. The Race for Peace took place at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies-UWI, Kingston, Jamaica. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Robert Fuderich, the acting UN Resident Coordinator for Jamaica, underscored the core values of the International Peace Day in his message at the opening ceremony.
(UN Country Team during the Lapathon. Mona Bowl, University of West Indies-UWI, Kingston, Jamaica. 21 September,2011. Photo UNDP Jamaica/Laura Raccio)
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