As the principal international instrument dedicated to the harmonization of the actions of nations towards these ends, the United Nations system has, over the past forty years, made a significant contribution to progress in such diverse areas as maintenance of peace and security, de-colonization, disarmament, economic and social development, promotion of international law, human rights, development of human resources, protection of and assistance to refugees, disaster relief, transportation and communications, and protection and enhancement of environment. Above all, it has helped to prevent the outbreak of a new global conflagration.
Nevertheless, the peaceful world foreseen in the Charter is far from assured. The danger of a nuclear catastrophe casts a dark shadow over all people and threatens the very existence of present and future generations. Smoldering regional conflicts continue to pose an ominous threat to international peace, while levying a heavy toll on human lives.
At the recent fortieth anniversary commemorative session, strong support for the United Nations system was expressed by world leaders. There was, at the same time, a broad consensus among Member States on the urgent need to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations, especially in the maintenance of international peace and security.
In view of the current state of international affairs, the unanimous decision by the General Assembly to declare 1986 as the International Year of Peace is both timely and opportune. The proclamation of the Year and its observance is directed to mobilize the international community to work together to remove existing obstacles to peace and to take positive steps towards creating a safer and more peaceful world. To build peace for the future - the main objective of the International Year of Peace - requires not only concern about the danger of war but also, as never before, the commitment and political will of all States and the determination and hard work of peoples throughout the world.
The United Nations has helped on many occasions to prevent the outbreak of conflict and violence in various regions of the world. The efforts of the United Nations must be complemented by action and support at the national, regional and inter-regional levels if a true climate of international understanding is to be created.
The International Year of Peace provides an opportunity for all Member States to commit themselves a new to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and to seek means of developing further the role and effectiveness of the Organization in building and maintaining international peace and security.
The International Year of Peace lays an international foundation for thought and action at every level in the promotion and maintenance of peace. This year is not a simple celebration, but an opportunity for dedicated and continuing action.
According to the Programme of the International Year of Peace contained in the secretary-general’s report to the General Assembly, the Heads of all organizations within the United Nations system would issue a joint statement in observance of the Year. The statement would present the United Nations system as acting for Peace in various fields and through various fields and through various activities.
The organizations of the United Nations system will endeavour to promote the objectives of the Year through activities in their particular areas of competence. Efforts are being made to raise public awareness and support for the work currently being undertaken by the United Nations system in fulfillment of the principles and purposes of the Organization. While calling attention to the achievements of the United Nations system in the political, economic, social, cultural, humanitarian, legal, environmental and other fields, all organizations within the system are also emphasizing the need for further strengthening of inter-national co-operation in order to cope better with current and future challenges.
Given the nature and cope of many contemporary problems, concerted action within the global community is required if global policies for cooperation and workable strategies for continued growth and development are to be elaborated. The International Year of Peace provides a valuable opportunity for the organizations of the United Nations system to encourage serious reflection on the factors that have contributed to international peace during the past four decades and to consider what must be done to ensure that future generations are spared the scourge of war.
To highlight the International Year of Peace, Pakistan Post Office is issuing a special postage stamp of Rs. 4/- value on November 20, 1986.