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25 Sep 2013

Press Release - International Day of Peace 2013: Naseer Shamma and UN advocate for a culture of peace in Iraq

  • Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Baghdad, 21 September 2013

On the occasion of the International Day of Peace, the United Nations in Iraq, together with Iraq’s Ministry of Culture, welcomed Naseer Shamma and the Secret Orchestra to commemorate this year’s theme, “Culture for Peace”, in a unique concert. Over one thousand Iraqi men, women and young people gathered at the Baghdad National Theatre to listen to Mr. Shamma, a world famous Iraqi oud musician. Mr. Shamma debuted a number of new compositions to a cheering crowd. “The importance of this particular day should not be underestimated, particularly in Iraq, where violence and terrorism continue to kill, maim and injure scores of innocent civilians on a daily basis,” said Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq (DSRSG) for Development and Humanitarian Affairs, Dr. Jacqueline Badcock.

The International Day of Peace was established by a UN General Assembly Resolution in 2001
and calls for a complete global cessation of hostilities for one day. Reflecting on the importance of Peace Day in Iraq, Al Hasan Hady Fahmy, a young Iraqi said, “this day provides us with a collective opportunity to reflect on the heavy toll that Iraq has paid over the last years.” Safaa Eemad Salman, another young Iraqi who spoke on the importance of the day, added, “Today gives us the chance to send out the message that violence can and should stop, once and for all, in Iraq.”

Besides the concert, UNESCO, UNDP and UNAMI joined efforts to organize a series of events
across Iraq, including a discussions roundtable gathering prominent Iraqi figures and
broadcasted live to all over the world through a dedicated internet channel.

About the International Day of Peace:
The United Nations declared 21 September as the International Day of Peace in 2001.
Also known as
“Peace Day”, 21 September provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create
practical acts of peace on a shared date. September 21 is also a day of Global Ceasefire. By acknowledging a unified day without violence, a Global Ceasefire can provide hope for citizens who must endure war and conflict; it proves that worldwide peace is possible. A cessation of hostilities for 24 hours can also enable relief workers to reach civilians in need with food, water, and medical supplies:

The United Nations in Iraq
For more information, please contact: Ms. Eliana Nabaa, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
Phone: +964 790 193 1281; Email:
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or the UN Public Information Office:
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