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Director-General's remarks at the International Day of Living Together in Peace 2024

Tatiana Valovaya


International Day of Living Together in Peace 2024

Thursday, 16 May 2024, at 2.00 p.m.

Room XIX, Palais des Nations 


Madame la Vice-présidente du Conseil administratif de la Ville de Genève,

Monsieur le Président d’honneur de AISA ONG Internationale,


Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the Palais des Nations on the occasion of the International Day of Living Together in Peace.

Let me start by thanking AISA for organizing this important event here at the Palais, as well as the City of Geneva for its support to the weeklong celebrations that are taking place all over the city.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations was established in 1945 with the aim to safeguard future generations from the horrors of war and promote peace. Our organization is built on four pillars - peace and security, development, human rights and the rule of law - four pillars are not strongly interlinked but also mutually reinforcing. Progress in one pillar boosts all others, while failure in one area puts at risks gains across the board. Indeed, development gains are often among the first casualties of conflicts and no peace is secure without inclusive and sustainable development.

In 1999, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which laid the foundation for Resolution 72/130 that was then adopted in 2017 and declared 16 May as the International Day of Living Together in Peace. This commemoration was created to serve as a powerful call to action, to champion peace, tolerance, inclusivity, understanding, and solidarity, all key ingredients to build a peaceful and sustainable world for all.

The 7th edition of this International Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the progresses made so far, and to acknowledge the ongoing efforts needed to achieve a real transformation towards a culture of peace and non-violence, based on education as highlighted in the main theme of this event. Education to peace, to live in a united way, by accepting our differences and developing our abilities to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate each other.

Today, our world stands at a critical juncture, facing an array of unprecedented challenges and a global lack of trust, but we believe there are reasons for hope. As we look ahead, the Summit of the Future in September offers a unique opportunity for the leaders of our world to address current crises while preparing for future challenges and shaping an inclusive, networked, and effective multilateralism for years to come. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we meet today at the Palais des Nations, who was home to the League of Nations a century ago, it is important to remember the lessons of the past, do our best in the present, think and act with future generations in mind, and pave the way for the future of sustainable development. To achieve this effectively, we need the meaningful engagement of all stakeholders.

And this is what we do here in International Geneva on a daily basis. The city is home to over 100 international organizations, including over 40 UN funds, programmes, and specialized agencies, representing a near universal presence of 184 Member States and over 400 Non-Governmental Organizations. Geneva also hosts a dynamic private sector and prominent academic institutions, and individuals with strong and versatile expertise and a collaborative culture. This rich environment fosters and strengthens exchanges, partnerships, and cooperation among diverse stakeholders, making multilateral discussions more networked and inclusive.

On this International Day of Living Together in Peace, let us reaffirm our dedication to living and working together, embracing diversity as we strive towards a world of peace, solidarity, and harmony.

Thank you.


This speech is part of a curated selection from various official events and is posted as prepared.