At its 36th session, in 1981, the United Nations General Assembly, in conformity with its Charter, decided "to devote a specific time to concentrate the efforts of the United Nations and its Member States, as well as of the whole of mankind, to promoting the ideals of Peace and to giving positive evidence of their commitment to peace in all viable ways.

"The Assembly therefore unanimously declared, in a resolution (UN/A/RES 36/37) adopted on 30 November 1981, that the opening of its regular annual session in September, should be officially dedicated and observed as the International Day of Peace and should be devoted "to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples."

1983 was the genesis of the "WE THE PEOPLES" INITIATIVE. Responding to a request by Robert Muller, then Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Pathways To Peace (PTP) coordinated the International Peace Day Project, with citizens representing diverse organizations. By 1984, citizens in over 52 countries responded to PTP’s invitation to participate in the Project.

Expansion has continued throughout the world. In 1989, this Project/Initiative was granted Peace Messenger Initiative status by Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar, and officially renamed "WE THE PEOPLES" Initiative. ("We the peoples…" is the opening phrase with which the Charter of the United Nations begins.) The Initiative was formally introduced to all Peace Messenger Organizations and Cities on the International Day of Peace, Tuesday 18 September 1990, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, by the UN Peace Studies Unit.

This UN Peace Messenger Initiative, the "WE THE PEOPLES" INITIATIVE. is designed to provide a context to unite our strengths to build Cultures Of Peace for the children of this and future generations.