21 Sep 2016

Statement for the International Day of Peace 2016

Environmental Protection and Development Association, Cameroon
by Godwin Tanda

Each year a new topic for the celebration of International Day of Peace is developed. This constant change is to explore the different pathways of building global peace. From Last Year’s theme "Partnership for Peace - Dignity for All", this year embraces a new theme dubbed: “ The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace".

It takes the whole world to bring peace but it takes only an individual to start war. Man was created within the prologue of peace. However, greed, power, and bad faith have become the pillars of conflicts and war.

World leaders will meet and meet again under the same topic yet war is a workplace where some global mongers will continue to seek jobs, power and leadership. Yesterday we gathered to talk about the remarkable impact of war on migration and refugee management. There will be no solution than to look back on the origin of life when it seemed to be in total tranquility knowing no firearms even though man was still at the center of control.

In Many places around the world today, war has been translated as the killing of innocent people for selfish reasons through the use of sophisticated weapons including biological and chemical. Whereas in Cameroon and elsewhere, war has been translated under the premises of greed, hunger, cheating, ignorance, poverty, embezzlement, grabbing of land, tussle for power and above all inheritance rights. The same question asked yesterday will today not have the same answers with the emergence of extremist groups such as Boko Haram in Cameroon now taking the original translation of war. The Cameroonian society is continuously plagued by corruption, embezzlement of common goods, greed, infighting for power, the rich get richer mindset, bullying, rape, domestic violence against women and children, insecurities, injustice and poverty. This is war by far stronger than the emerging Boka Haram. Private sector initiatives must buttress government actions in our collective effort to attain emergence by 2035. Our problems cannot be solved in a single day, month or year but rather a continuous stream of emerging solutions.

The call by the UN is ours as it is for governments; to recognize and uphold the morals of the Creator who made all things in defining local and global policies and actions. Where is the place of peace in sustainable development, climate change action, equality, quality education, decent jobs and in partnerships? Peace must be fundamental to achieve all the above. Global reunions seem to be meaningless in the absence of peace discourse because every building effort in the break of war becomes futile.

Peace begins within an individual and then spreads through the society as could be found in the “In and Out” peace concept developed by the International Peace Revolution, or the International Peace Law advocated for by the Heavenly Cultures, World Peace and the Restoration of Light (HWPL), International Peace Women Group (IPWG) and International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). Other concepts such as the Global Games for Children and Youth by the Play Soccer Nonprofit International have proven to be a unifying force among many global children and youth as they use their sporting talents to encourage, empower and unite themselves.

Our “Youth Engagement for Peace” formerly known as Youth Action for Peace Promotion” recognizes the role of peace in environmental stewardship such as the management of water, forests and equitable natural resources. Our nucleus of this program is the family as we believe that the awareness and empowerment of families towards peace is an imperative in sustainable development.