Liberian Students join the rest of the world to mark ‘International Day of Peace”
Monrovia, Liberia – The United Nations, together with the Youth Coalition for Education in Liberia, the Messengers for Peace, and students from various schools celebrated this year’s International Day of Peace under the theme “Education for Peace”. A range of activities, including lectures and presentations on Peace and Education preceded the main event on Friday, 20 September, at the JJ Roberts Methodist High School with more than 300 students participating.
In his message read by his Special Representative and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Liberia, Ms. Karin Landgren, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that fifty-seven million children are still denied an education globally. “Millions more need better schooling. We need to accelerate momentum in countries with the greatest needs, such as those affected by conflict. These are home to half of all children lacking education,” he said.
“War creates lost generations of children and young people. In areas ravaged by conflict, the plea is always the same: "Education first." Education helps to re-establish normal life for children after war has ended, and sets the stage for lasting stability. When we put education first, we can reduce poverty and end hunger, end wasted potential, and build stronger and better societies for all,” the Secretary-General added.
SRSG Landgren praised the young participants for their robust presentations and thoughtful exchanges. “Whose job is it to keep Liberia peaceful?” she asked the youthful audience. “The answer is not UNMIL. The answer is, it’s the job of every Liberian. You students as Liberia’s future leaders, you can do so much to keep your country at peace, this year, next year, ten years from now.” She stressed the need to respect each other and eschew prejudices. “If you will reflect on how to respect each other, and how to live a life free of prejudices you will be role models for each other and role models for adults,” said Ms Landgren.
Amongst other events held on Friday included presentations by young talented speakers who displayed their oratorical skills on topics such as: “Peace, the bedrock for quality education in Liberia,” and “Sustainable peace for a sustainable future.” Musical performances, ringing of the peace bell and a football tournament were also part of the activities marking the day.
The International Day of Peace was established by the General Assembly in 1981, which later fixed the day in 2001 to be observed every year on 21 September as “a day of global ceasefire and non-violence”.