Renata Lok-Dessallien – Message on the International Day of Peace

Renata Lok-Dessallien

Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator

Yangon, Republic of The Union of Myanmar

Message on the International Day of Peace

Excellency Minister U Aung Min, Representatives from Ethnic Armed Organizations, Representatives of Political Parties, Ambassadors and esteemed representatives from diplomatic communities, Colleagues from United Nations Agencies, Programmes and Funds, Civil Society Representatives, Respective members of the media,

Min-ga-lar-bar.

  1. It is a great honour for the United Nations to join with representatives of Government, Ethnic Armed Organizations, all of you today to mark the International Day of Peace in Myanmar. I extend a very warm thanks to Minister U Aung Min and the Myanmar Peace Centre for graciously hosting this commemoration. And I am both moved and delighted that representatives of the Ethnic Armed Organizations are with us today for this event – this event in Myanmar would not be complete without you.
  1. The commemoration of the International Day of Peace at this moment in Myanmar is very poignant and meaningful. After several years of unrelenting efforts, and thanks to the hard work and perseverance on all sides, the country stands at a significant gateway toward ending decades of armed conflict and laying the foundations for a sustainable, inclusive, peaceful, multi-ethnic society. Great hopes are pinned on the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement to be signed in a few weeks’ time, and on the subsequent political dialogue. It is no exaggeration to say that the country stands at a major, nation-building threshold.
  1. Excellencies, colleagues, each year on the International Day of Peace, the UN Secretary General rings the UN peace bell outside the Secretariat Building in New York as a symbolic reminder to all member states and to the UN itself of what the UN is all about. The UN stands for a lot of things, but at its very core, at its heart of hearts, the UN stands for peace. You all know that the UN grew out of the ashes of two devastating World Wars that brought untold suffering to millions of people. At that time, world leaders stood together and said: never again. They established the United Nations to save future generations from the terror and scourge of ware UN Charter is all about the prevention of armed conflict. And the UNESCO Constitution famously states, “
    That since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” The UN works toward this end through every avenue available to it: through treaties and conventions, through the promotion of cooperation and understanding, through quiet diplomacy and mediation, through development and the promotion of human dignity and human rights for all, through caring for and drawing attention to the needs of the most vulnerable, down trodden and outcast members of society, through nurturing the creation of a culture of peace, through promoting unity in diversity. The UN also makes its Blue Helmets or international peacekeepers available to warring parties wishing to generate a space for planting the seeds of peace.   Currently, the UN has special envoys and political missions working in more than twenty nations, and peacekeeping operations, with more than 100,000 personnel, across 16 nations. The UN also has Country Teams around the world, comprised of development, humanitarian and technical agencies, providing programmatic assistance and technical support to conflict affected societies. The UN’s signature pursuit is thus the pursuit of peace.
  1. Myanmar is one of the UN’s priority countries for the promotion of peace. The Special Advisor to the Secretary General, Mr. Nambiar, has accompanied the NCA negotiation process for many years. And UN agencies in Myanmar are engaged on the ground helping to build confidence for peace-building and social cohesion. We are squarely behind the signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement and the dynamic phase of political dialogue that will follow. In my capacity as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN Country Team here in Myanmar, I assure you that we stand squarely behind all of you as you take the next important steps toward lasting peace in this beautiful country.
  1. Given the significance of this moment in Myanmar, I would like to dedicate this 2015 International Day of Peace to all parties who have worked so hard to bring the country to this important stage of the peace process, and to the people on the ground who for so many years have suffered the brunt of armed conflict. Let us also dedicate this day to peaceful 2015 election in Myanmar, an election that we all hope will be characterized by fairness, inclusiveness, credibility, inter-faith and inter-political tolerance, understanding and respect, an election that all Myanmar people can feel proud of.
  1. Let me conclude by reading out the global message from UN Secretary General on this special day ……… (Reads UN Secretary-General’s message)