International Day of Peace against backdrop of escalating Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

International Day of Peace against backdrop of escalating Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

A message published on the organization's website says that in 2020 humanity must realize that people "are not each other’s enemies." "Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere," the message says.

"In these difficult times of physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will be dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together," the organisation noted.

"The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is 'Shaping Peace Together.' Celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. Join us so that we can shape peace together," the message says.

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.

Alas, the International Day of Peace is still only a call. On September 21, neither the hostilities in the conflict zones nor the aggressive rhetoric of international and regional players who benefit from interstate and interethnic enmity stop. Moreover, in a number of cases, the tension is increasing, as is happening around the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the deadlock of the previous process of peaceful settlement of which is now confirmed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia.