Peace2The 2014 World Day of Peace celebrations hosted by the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations were held at l’Eglise de Saint Nicolas de Flue on Monday, 20 January 2014 in Geneva. An interreligious service was celebrated and attended by Mgr. Silvano M. Tomasi, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the UN, the Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg S.E. Mgr. Charles Morerod, Auxiliary Bishop Mgr. Pierre Farine and representatives from the extended Christian community as well as the Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim communities. The celebrations were also the occasion to present Pope Francis’s Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, which was disseminated on 1 January 2014. The messaged was titled, “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace.”

In his Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace, His Holiness Pope Francis emphasizes how “[f]raternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. […] But this vocation is still frequently denied and ignored in a world marked by a “globalization of indifference” which makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves.” The topics of human rights’ violations, poverty, inequality and injustice were discussed, including that, despite globalization, as a global community we are still far from experiencing global solidarity, which His Holiness calls all to work together to build a culture of peace.

The celebration was fitting and very timely as 2013 was a year with great progress and work done in the UN Human Rights Council on the recognition of the right to peace, especially through a UN Declaration of the Right to Peace. Many working on this issue within the UN system and in NGOs hope that 2014 can see further progress and success towards peace, fraternity and international solidarity.