The United Nations stands for PEACE and DEVELOPMENT. Generally, Peace is when people are able to resolve their conflicts without violence and can work together to improve the quality of their lives. Peace is when: everyone has the power to participate in shaping political decisions and the government is accountable to the people whilst Development is the process of developing or being developed or an event constituting a new stage in a changing situation
It is in view of the importance of PEACE to the world that the United Nations passed the International Day of Peace with resolution (A/RES/36/67) (A/RES/55/282) which is celebrated on 21 September every year.
Peace moves hand in hand with justice in all forms. The society takes the center stage of peace and justice for development and the beneficiaries should be the citizens of the world. United Nations regards social justice as the underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence among the nations. The United Nations has the vision of promoting peace and justice globally for the development and has intervened with programs over the years to achieve this.
The Millennium Development Goals was an intervention for development and leadership of the world, especially governments had a crucial role to play for its implementation from 2000 through 2015.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda, adopted by countries in 2015, with a vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. … The goals and targets are universal, meaning they apply to all countries around the world, not just poor countries.
The coincidence is that from September 20th to 27th, 2019, development advocates will be mobilising across the world for the Global Week of Action on the SDGs and calling on world leaders to commit to equality, civic space and environmental and climate justice. Also 25th September marks the 4th anniversary of the SDGs. The Global Week of Action provides an opportunity to call for more ambition in the implementation of the SDGs both at the global and national level. All these are geared towards peace and development.
United Nations Association of Ghana and in collaboration with The Center of Awareness global Peace Mission International, The Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration, LAMACONSULT FOUNDATION call on all like-minded peace and development organizations to join hands with leadership of the world to commit to the implementation of the SDGs since political thinkers and policy makers across the world, admire the fact that the global goals of Sustainable Development can be achieved by ensuring peace and justice for development.
The world can know peace and build it more if world leaders would cut down expenses on manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction, and contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals: 1. End Poverty in All Its Forms Everywhere, 2. End Hunger, Achieve Food Security And Improved Nutrition And Promote Sustainable Agriculture, 3. Ensure Healthy Lives And Promote Well-Being For All At All Ages, 4. Ensure Inclusive And Equitable Quality Education And Promote Life-Long Learning Opportunities For All, 5. Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls) and Goals 16+and 17, (16. Promote Peaceful and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development, Provide Access to Justice for All and Build Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions At All Levels, 17. Strengthen The Means of Implementation and Revitalize the Global Partnership/Collaboration for Sustainable Development) by the year 2030.
But the world has many issues which obstruct its path to peace and prosperity, like – poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, gender inequality, crime and human rights violations including wars. The UN’s objective of Sustainable Development cannot be achieved unless these issues are addressed.
BOKO HARAM is becoming a force to reckon with. Nigerian troops stepped on land lines and many of them died in the Sambisa Forest recently The insurgents are expanding and establishing camps in Cameroon, Niger, Chard, and Mali .
A MULTINATIONAL TASK FORCE helping to combat the extremists has its headquarters in N’Djamena, Chad and even there, Boko Haram has ambushed and killed many Chadian soldiers in recent times. As if the atrocities being perpetrated against humanity by Boko Haram in Nigeria and beyond is not enough, ISIS is now in West Africa to worsen the situation. ISLAMIC STATE is currently boosting Boko Haram and this is obviously no good news to Ghana, the sub-region and the continent of Africa as a whole.
Arab Toarek Rebels are active around Mali and Northern Africa, as Al-Shaba is in Somalia. Extremists are amassing and trying to infiltrate Ghana from Burkina Faso. Our neighboring countries are not safe either.
As part of its expansionist agenda and to make it more effective, Islamic State has sacked its Commander in West Africa and replaced him with a ruthless one. ISIS has set up their camps around Mount Sanai in Egypt apart from those of them in and around the GAZA Strip in Israel.
America has been joined by United Kingdom and France to give support, but not in terms of ground troops or boots on the ground. They are helping with technical support and training of the soldiers: capacity building through training for members of our armed forces, equipment support, intelligence and much more. This in itself amounts to arms build-up and a vicious cycle.
“These have in no small measure helped us in our effort to tackle the various security challenges confronting our nation, especially in counter terrorism and counter insurgency efforts in the North Eastern part of the country.”
Xenophobia is on its next lap in South Africa. Konan Bedie and Laurent Gbagbo’s seeming merger is mounting tension in the Ivory Coast. Some politicians, religious leaders, traditional authorities and media people among others take the center stage on the airwaves in Ghana for most parts of the day and the kidnappings of girls are all inimical to the interest of Ghana and African security and safety.
The relative peace enjoyed by Ghana must be protected and improved. Although not doing badly at peace at the international level, issues that incense situations must be avoided as much as possible since peace is not automatic. Ghana has really worked at it and hence citizens must not allow its Peace slip into the abyss. Leadership must address the issue of unemployment by Job creation and entrepreneurial development. The private sector must be made the pivot of industrial growth. Citizens like Prof. Dr. Samuel Ato Duncan, FCIDA, Center of Awareness Global Peace Mission International, must be seen to be in SDG 1- No Poverty, SDG 2- No Hunger, SDG 3-Good Health, SDG 8-Good Jobs and Economic Growth, SDG 9- Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG 16 –Peace and Justice and SDG 17- Partnerships for the Goals. And so are Eng. Dr. Emeritus Kwadwo Sarfo, Kristo Asafo Mission and Dr. Kodjoe Sumney, Mission Africa Inc. among others and must be supported, since peace is not the absence of war, Prof. Dr. Duncan recently launched a Research Fund to advance research into drug development after discovery of a potential cure for HIV AIDS via COA FS, just as KANTANKA in the field of unparalleled technology via innovation on the continent of Africa and Dr. Sumney in SDGs 1, 2, 8, 16 and 17.
In the recent Global Peace Ratings, Ghana took the 44 position, the second in Africa after Malawi. They are joined by Zambia to be among the top 50 most peaceful countries in the world out of 163 countries. South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan are at the bottom of the peace rating while Iceland New Zealand and Portugal topped the ladder.
The Global Peace Index (GPI) 2019 report finds that the average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly in the 2019 GPI. This is the first time the index has improved in five years. The average country score improved by -0.09 per cent, with 86 countries improving, and 76 recording deteriorations. Over the last ten years, the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78%.
SDG 16 Promotes Peaceful and Inclusive Societies for Sustainable Development, Provide Access to Justice for All and Build Effective, Accountable and Inclusive Institutions At All Levels, if strictly adhered to will help mitigate suffering since leadership is the cause of most of these forms of unrest.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can. Hence Jesus says “love your enemies”. Love has within itself a redemptive power. Love is a power that eventually transforms individuals. In the presence of hate, being friendly and being loving will take hate out of its feet till it can stand no longer. There is something about love that is creative and builds peace up.
If there is no peace, there is no better life. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This statement which is also an assurance in itself was said by the leader of the Christian community. He is one who is also respected by all the other faiths around the globe. The Prophet Mohammed, Hindu, Buddha, Shinto, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Confucius, Rama among other great leaders in their time, talked about the need for peace among humankind.
The question the leadership of the major religions have to ask themselves today, is whether they believe the one they claim is the object of their worship. Have they taken the pain to study his nature and attitude before such a claims? I want to tell the whole world that we have to hold these major religious leaders of today accountable, for lack of the needed peace and call on them to revise their notes concerning their faith, because almost all past and present rulers of the countries of this world are from these major religions. Muslims are claiming their religion is a region of peace just as Hindus, Buddhists, etc. Christians are also with the conviction that Jesus the Christ, is the Lord of peace. Majority of the rulers of the world believe Jesus Christ as messenger and the Savior of the world: Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus the Christ is the Prince of Peace.
REV. DR. MARK NII LAMPTEY, FCIDA
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS