Global peacebuilders urge governments to recommit to peace

On International Day of Peace (21 September) Quakers are joining a global call for peace, justice and inclusion to be at the heart of the response to COVID-19.

colourful messages for peace chalked on pavement
CHALK4PEACE: a thousand messages for peace chalked on the UN Visitors' Plaza. (UN photo/Laura Jarriel)

Quakers are among more than 170 organisations from around the world who released a statement at the online opening of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Their urgent call for action says that responses to crisis that increase violence, injustice and exclusion will worsen development losses and increase human suffering. They say, “If we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we must recommit to peace today."

The statement calls on governments and the international community to:

  • mainstream peace in the response to COVID-19;
  • prioritise inclusion in analysis and action;
  • make space for building peace;
  • and reaffirm multilateralism and international norms as a safeguard for the most vulnerable.

Quaker Peace & Social Witness, Quaker United Nations Office and Quaker Council for European Affairs are among the signatories. They are alongside organisations dedicated to peace from throughout the world, including faith-based groups, international development agencies, policy organisations, and others.


If we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow, we must recommit to peace today.

- Peacebuilders' statement


Ahead Peace Day, Marigold Bentley, Head of Peace Programmes for Quakers in Britain, said, "Although here we are in 2020 with much progress made among us as human beings and global citizens, there are still many tasks before us to complete and an end to war remains one of those core callings for us as Quakers. War continues to take many forms. This global statement made to mark World Peace Day 2020 uses modern language but articulates again the unchangeable truth so carefully captured by early Quakers in 1660: 'All bloody principles and practices, as to our own particulars, we utterly deny; with all outward wars and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever; and this is our testimony to the whole world.'"

Read the full statement and signatories

Seeking political change towards peace