Liberia celebrates the International Day of Peace
Updated on 07 October 2017
21 September 2017, Monrovia - On the International Day of Peace, Messengers of Peace Inc.-Liberia with support from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) today organised a 4-km “Peace walk” in Monrovia.
Over 500 youth pledged their commitment to maintaining peace before and after the forthcoming elections on 10 October under the banner #votepeace.
The walk completed at the University of Liberia with an indoor programme that included performances, a “Youth Peace talk”, ringing of the peace bell for peace to prevail in all fifteen counties of Liberia and appending of signatures for peace.
At the event in the University of Liberia were senior officials from the Ministries of Information, Youth and Justice, representatives of youth wings of political parties, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), National Civil Society Council, Rotary club and the United Nations.
UNMIL Voinjama Regional Field Office (VRFO) organized a Talk Show in collaboration “Kintoma” community radio station, under the theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”. During the show, messages for ensuring fair and peaceful elections were also broadcasted. Panelists included religious and traditional leaders, a civil society actor and a Former Representative.
A Christian Representative, Rev. James Koiboi stated that“We need to ensure that the peace we are now enjoying even though UNMIL has drawn down and will soon close their offices, particularly in Voinjama, remains sustainable. The love and passion we have for our country should enable us to keep it peaceful. We are preaching messages of peace to candidates and followers, urging them to be very moderate in their campaign and stop hate messages. We preach messages for people to stop election campaign violence”.
On 27 September, UNMIL VRFO conducted an outreach to the Voinjama Multilateral and Free Pentecostal High Schools as part of activities to mark the International Day of Peace. Speeches on the need to maintain peace in Lofa County and to ensure a violence-free election period, promotion and protection of human rights to ensure peaceful coexistence were deliberated during the event attended by over a hundred students in each school. The outreach was followed by sports competitions between both schools. Kickball and football was played by male and female students respectively. Material and cash prizes were awarded at the end of the games to the players and participants of a writing completion on: “Peace in Lofa County, the challenges and way-forward”.
During her keynote speech, the Officer in Charge/Head of UNMIL VRFO, Ms. Laura Fultang reminded residents to “avoid any words or actions that can stir division within communities. We need to live peacefully with people from different ethnic and religious groups” she said.
To conclude this commemoration, the Lofa Youth for Progressive Action group carried out a community outreach programme from 23 to 30 September with support from the UNMIL VRFO. They sensitized residents of Voinjama, Salayea, Zorzor and Salayea Districts on peace and non-violence before, during and after elections. The methodology used included cultural performances by traditional communicators, door to door awareness, outdoor performances at market places, motor parks performing also music, dance and comedy.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
The theme for 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
The theme honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life. TOGETHER unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.