Our United Nations for peace, disarmament, the climate and COVID-19 recovery

A fortnight of action and events
September 21 – October 2, 2020

#WeThePeoples2020 is a coalition of civil society organisations cooperating to promote UN and UN-focused events from the International Day of Peace (Sep 21) until International Day for Non-violence (Oct 2). It includes:

We the Peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights… establish respect for international law and promote social progress….Have resolved to combine our efforts to achieve these aims.

Our respective governments have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.

Excerpts from the Preamble to the UN Charter

#WeThePeoples and the UN 75th anniversary

2020 is the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations, which was established as an international body of the peoples of the world to prevent war, promote peace, protect human rights, ensure adherence to international law and advance social and economic progress for all people.

Through-out the year,  governments and civil society are undertaking commemoration events to advance these aims and highlight the connections between the core UN issues, including also addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. UN2020 is a key platform to ensure civil society involvement in this process and to promote a better United Nations.

From September 21 until October 2, there will be a special series of UN and civil society events in conjunction with the opening session of the UN General Assembly and some key UN Days. Most of these will be online or a mixture of physical and online.

#WeThePeoples2020 is a platform to promote these events and build cooperation amongst civil society.

Connections between peace, climate protection, SDGs, disarmament and the COVID-19 pandemic

UN Charter (Article 26) recognises the connection between disarmament and sustainable development. Article 26 requires the UN to facilitate disarmament ‘in order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources.’

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that there can be no sustainable development without peace, and no peace without sustainable development. In addition, Securing our Common Future: An Agenda for Disarmament, the disarmament agenda released in 2018 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, outlines the links between disarmament and many of the SDGs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted these connections most vividly. The poor, marginalised and those in regions of armed conflict suffer the most from the pandemic. And it has become obvious that peace, disarmament, justice, sustainable development and environmental protection are required to adequately address the pandemic and ‘build back better’.

SEP 21:

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PEACE

The UN General Assembly has declared September 21 to be the International Day for Peace (Peace Day) devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. For 2020 the theme for the day is “Shaping Peace Together”, with key aims to advance a global ceasefire, to spread kindness, compassion and hope during this time of pandemic, and to reject discrimination and hatred.

On June 13, the UN Secretary-General launched the 100 day countdown to the International Day for Peace announcing the theme for 2020 and ideas on actions people can take in the run-up to the day, including to take the UN 1-minute survey.

“Let us use these dialogues, as well as the International Day of Peace, to exchange ideas on how to achieve a global ceasefire…”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres

SEP 21:

UN 75TH HIGH LEVEL MEETING

The UN General Assembly will hold a one-day high-level meeting on Sep 21 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN. The theme of the event is  ‘The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’. The meeting will adopt a declaration that was agreed in July 2020.

Action: Call on your government to use the occasion of the high level meeting to call for implementation of the declaration, and in particular to support the global ceasefire, commit to resolve conflicts peacefully, encourage all countries to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, support full implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change and accept a 10% cut in global military budgets to support the UN, SDGs and COVID-19 management and economic recovery.

SEP 21-24:

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IMPACT SUMMIT

The World Economic Forum is convening this fully virtual Sustainable Development Impact Summit, held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly. The theme is ‘Realizing a ‘Great Reset’ for Sustainable Development in light of COVID-19.’ It will include leaders from government, business, international organizations, civil society experts and innovators to initiate, accelerate and scale-up entrepreneurial solutions to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development. Click here for a meeting overview including ways in which you can engage.

SEP 21-27:

UN CLIMATE WEEK

Climate Week is a week of online activities and events coordinated by the Climate Group. It has evolved from Climate Week NYC, which focused on events in New York during the High Level section of the UN General Assembly. In 2019, it provided a platform for over 350 events. Click here to register your event.

SEP 26:

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE TOTAL ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS

In 2013, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) declared September 26 to be the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. The aims of the day are to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.  UNFOLD ZERO provides a global platform for Sep 26 actions and events.  #WeThePeoples2020 will organise a global civil society webinar to commemorate the day. The UN General Assembly will hold a High Level Meeting on Oct 2 to commemorate the day. It will be screened on UNTV.

Action: Encourage your Prime Minister/President to participate in the UN High-Level Meeting on October 2 and use the occasion to call on nuclear-armed states to commit to never launch a nuclear war, and to commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the UN.

SEP 30:

UN SUMMIT ON BIODIVERSITY

The UN Summit on Biodiversity will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development.  The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature. An investment in the health of our planet is an investment in our own future. The Summit will feed into the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021.

OCT 1:

HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON WOMEN

This high-level meeting of the General Assembly is being held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing. It will focus on the overall theme, ‘Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’. 2020 is also the 25th anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

OCT 2:

UN DAY OF NONVIOLENCE

The International Day of Nonviolence was established by the United Nations on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi in order to promote the ‘universal relevance of the principle of non-violence’ and the objective ‘to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence’. The Indian Mission to the UN will host an official event for the day. #WeThePeoples2020 will organise a global civil society event.

Event calendar

Browse #WeThePeoples2020 events worldwide and submit yours!

About #WeThePeoples2020

#WeThePeoples2020 is a coalition of civil society organisations cooperating to promote UN and UN-focused events from International Day of Peace (Sep 21) until International Day for Non-violence (Oct 2). It is coordinated by the Abolition 2000 Youth Network, Basel Peace Office, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, UNFOLD ZERO and the World Future Council. Other organisations and networks are invited to join as partners.

Participating organizations

List in formation.

Blue Banner NGO
Conseil National des Religions pour la Paix RDC
Peace and Humanity Foundation
United Nations Association of Zimbabwe (ZUNA)
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom- Togo