LAHORE - An NGO, Bargad, marked International Day of Peace with 300 youth representatives from across districts of Punjab on Tuesday.

Nabila Malick moderated the proceedings of the event while earlier an informal session with youth was conducted by Usama Nasir.

Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism Muhammad Ayub was the chief guest at the event. He distributed awards and certificates among the Peace Activists and volunteers of the event.

 International Peace Day is commemorated each year on September 21 since it was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. It is a day of non-violence and ceasefire. Bargad, being a youth organization, believes in engaging youth to play their role in peace building in the country.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the theme for the International Day of Peace is: “The Right to Peace”. The theme has been selected to highlight the fact that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not include this right. The commemoration also brings attention to Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions.

The commemoration featured a discussion on the ‘Right to Peace’ which highlighted the role youth can play in keeping peace in their communities. The panel was joined by Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Sadia Sohail, educationist Taimoor Bandey, Executive Director of World Council of Religions Hafiz Nauman, human rights defender Samson Salamat, Tran’s rights activist Zanaya Chaudhry, Youth Innovator, Aqsa Rani, and education activist Farzana Maqsood.

On the occasion, Muhammad Ayub said, “All youth, men, women, civil society and government departments need to work together for peace building in Pakistan. I urge you all to take part in communal activities for commemorations as such are very important reminders of our role and commitments towards the global community.” 

Taimoor Bandey said that peace does not have the luxury of being an option as the alternative to peace is scary, detrimental and catastrophic. Peace is now a necessity which impacts everyone presently and in the future.”

A social media campaign was started two weeks prior to the event to which youth contributed by submitting online videos using the hashtag #Peace Day. During the commemoration, the audience was encouraged to post online with the hashtag which led to a trend on Twitter in Pakistan.