By Jamel Nampijja / GICJ

September 21 commemorates the International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day. This day aims to promote universal solidarity toward building and strengthening principles of peace for a peaceful and sustainable world. This day is honoured worldwide by observing 24 hours of non-violence and a ceasefire. 

Peace is universally understood as calm and quiet, freedom from worry or stress. Professor Johan Galtung, the founder of Peace Studies, defined peace as a relationship between two or more parties. The parties may be inside a person, a state or nation, a region or civilisation, pulling in different directions. Peace is not the property of one party alone but a property of the relationship between parties. [1]

2022 Theme: “End Racism. Build Peace”

The United Nations dedicated the 2022 theme "End Racism. Build Peace" to address hate speech and violence directed at racial minorities to promote a message of anti-racism through education.


Racism manifests in forms such as distinctive racism, including discrimination, intolerance, and hatred that are sometimes expressed overtly or covertly through microaggressions. It is not just prejudiced in thought or action; racism is inscribed in systems, policies, actions and attitudes that create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race.

Prejudicial policies, practices, laws, procedures, and ideologies within institutions and systems prevent people, especially minorities, from experiencing justice, dignity, equity and enjoying their human rights because of their racial identity.

The growth and popularity of the internet have also led to the rise of extreme hate groups spreading dangerous racist beliefs, including hate speech and propaganda. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have increased “cyber racism”. Often, cyber racism leads to offline racism including mass shootings and other related terrorism.

The "replacement theory", a racist ideology that states that there is a plot to diminish the influence of white people, has been gaining popularity within white supremacist groups on the internet and mainstream media outlets such as Fox News.

On May 4, 2022, in Buffalo, New York, Payton S. Grendon carried out a mass shooting at a supermarket that left ten people dead, most of whom were black. Reports stated that his attack was racially motivated by the replacement theory based on a racist document posted online by Grendon.

Racism adapts and evolves into new spheres and can impact communities differently. Developing digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) present a potential threat to worsen discriminatory practices, thereby reinforcing historical systems of racism and inequality that predate AI Researchers at the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation as well as physicians in the United States have warned that AI algorithms in healthcare used to determine which patient should receive a kidney transplant, heart surgery and breast cancer diagnosis have displayed racial biases against black patients.

These algorithms are designed to imitate the thought processes of medical specialists in diagnosing and making decisions to treat patients. The purpose of medical algorithms is to make quick, precise decisions that help medics diagnose and treat patients faster and more efficiently. Since humans build algorithms, they can inscribe biases and discrimination into AI predictions and outcomes.

On December 2, 2020, Timnit Gebru, the co-lead of Google’s ethical AI team, was fired by the company for refusing to withdraw a research paper on the dangers of large language models known as machine learning algorithms that predict and generate facial recognition and human languages. Ms Gebru’s report proved the inaccuracy of facial recognition algorithms in identifying women and people of colour, which leads to discrimination. 

Additionally, the report of the Special Rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related forms of intolerance delivered on July 5, 2022, highlighted States’ insincere commitments to addressing and ending racism. Although States request recommendations to tackle racism, they take no action and instead silence the communities that advocate for social and racial justice.

Education as a tool to dismantle racism

Only through education does the world have a chance at dismantling the systems that sustain racism in our institutions, social structures, and daily life. States and education systems worldwide are responsible for providing all necessary resources for education programs and research to understand how and why systems of racism continue to exist in our communities.  

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an important topic that should be added as a subject to school curriculums worldwide because it highlights the current inequities. Coined by American legal scholar Kimberley Crenshaw in the 1970s, CRT argues that the power structures enforced by the legal system are racially prejudicial and that there is a direct relationship between legal power and social power in American institutions. [4]

CRT acknowledges that the legacies of slavery and segregation of African Americans and other people of colour continue to infiltrate the nation's social fabric. Therefore, CRT aims to understand how, when, and why the legal framework and systems in the United States continue to sustain oppression and exclusion.

Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) honours the International Day of Peace. This day reminds the world that we all have a role to play in developing and sustaining cultures of peace. GICJ recommends that States provide all necessary resources to design and implement peace education initiatives that address racism within their schools/education systems to support youths in gaining skills that can enhance their positive role in peacebuilding. 

We at GICJ stress the need for collective efforts from every individual, State, and organisation to cooperate in addressing the scourge of racism that threatens world peace. As former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016) stated: 

“We know that peace cannot be decreed solely through treaties – it must be nurtured through the dignity, rights and capacities of every man and woman.”

The fight against racism requires the efforts and commitment of every individual, every nation, and every organisation. The fight against racism starts individually. Therefore, GICJ challenges everyone to reflect on our implicit and explicit racial biases to identify negative stereotypes about others and overcome prejudice. 

geneva4justice, GICJ, Geneva International Centre for Justice, Justice, International Day of Peace, World Peace Day, End Racism Build Peace, Racism, AI and Racism, Human Rights and AI, Discrimination, Racial Discrimination, End Racial Discrimination


[2] Merriam-Webster. (2022). Retrieved from




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