U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang the Japanese peace bell Monday as a call to warring parties in global conflicts to lay down their arms to observe the international day of peace on the 70th anniversary of the organization's establishment.

The annual ceremony takes each fall, marking the opening of the General Assembly. Ban, along with the new president of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, took turns ringing the bell at the solemn ceremony held in the Japanese garden.

"Today's ceremony is very significant," the U.N. chief said. "This is the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. Seven decades ago, the United Nations was born out of war to save others from the same devastation."