SUSTAINABLE PEACE FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict and the freedom from fear of violence. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, and a working political order that serves the true interests of all. In international relations, peacetime is not only the absence of war or violent conflict, but also the presence of positive and respectful cultural and economic relationships.
According to the Roman Catholic Pope, Benedict XVI, “Peace is achieved by consciences that are open to the truth and to love.
The holy scripture of the Christians have it that “Blessed are the Peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God” Matt. 5:9. “Pursue Peace with all people and holiness without which no one will see God” Heb. 12:14
Buddhists believe that peace can be attained once all suffering ends. They regard all suffering as stemming from cravings (in the extreme, greed), aversions (fears), or delusions. To eliminate such suffering and achieve personal peace, followers in the path of the Buddha adhere to a set of teachings called the Four Noble Truths — a central tenet in Buddhist philosophy
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter Paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Shall I tell you something which if you did you would love each other? Spread peace between yourselves .” [Sunan Ibn Majah, Book 33, Number 3692 , Sahih]
Let us now consider the PEACE version of Rotary International in the speech of 2012/13 RI President:
“Peace, in all of the ways that we can understand it, is a real goal and a realistic goal for Rotary,” he said. “Peace is not something that can only be achieved through agreements, by governments, or through heroic struggles. It is something that we can find and that we can achieve, every day and in many simple ways.”
Peace has different meanings for different people, Tanaka said.
“No definition is right, and no definition is wrong,” he said. “However we use the word, this is what peace means for us.
“No matter how we use, or understand the word, Rotary can help us to achieve it,” he added.
Friday September 21st, the world marks International Day of Peace. World Peace Day has been set aside by the United Nations to provide an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date.
The International Day of Peace was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1981 as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.
In 2002, the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. Part of the UN General Assembly 2002 resolution read; “Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organisation, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organisation as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.”
On this day mankind is reminded of the need for peaceful coexistence for a sustainable future. Differences of tribe, language, colour, religion, ideology or even political affiliations should all melt-down whenever we commemorate World Peace Day.
Without peace, the future is endangered and that is why this year; all and sundry are invited to think peace; think the future. With electioneering processes in states and at national level approaches, we need to reflect on the dangers conflicts portend to our future.
Sincerely, Nigerians may be lucky to have one of the most progressive constitutions on earth but unless rights are enjoined to responsibilities and all enjoyed in an atmosphere of peace, the future looks bleak.
Ethnicity, tribalism and religion seems to be the curse for Nigerians. Yet diversity is a necessary component for sustainable development. Nigerians need to be proud of our diversity and seek to harness this diversity for sustainable development. If conflicts persists, chances are that all mankind could be decimated and thus, a gloom future. But every, tribe, religion and political grouping can purpose to engender peace with the other. Strife leads to anarchy and that is a constant danger not just to the present generation but the future one too. Hence the theme for this year’s World Peace day is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future”.
Sustainable future is hinged on growth in all sectors of the society. This talks of sustainable development. Sustainable development has been defined as a pattern of economic growth in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. It is a deliberate attempt at meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
In peace building; it means deliberately ending war, ceasing fire, ending the war drums by signing of pacts and peace agreements to ensure that the future is secured.
Every Nigerian on this day needs to think of the future. Whether young or old, politician or electorate, Christian or Muslim; we all need to preserve Nigeria not just for ourselves but for the future generation.
Every Nigerian should determine in his/her heart to meet his/her present needs while contributing to the future generations needs. It is the responsibility of the present generations to improve the future generations. This seems to be the reverse in Nigeria where the present generation is busy amassing everything for themselves in total disregard of the interests of the future.
On the Socio-political paradigm of sustainable development, elections; a major conflict trigger in the country is around the corner in Nigeria. With this hindsight, it is my sincere appeal to all political elites and their supporters to wary of the dangers political violence herald for the future generations. Leadership is not about the politicians but the present and future electorates who put them in positions of power to represent them.
To the voting public, parochial and self-serving interests should not prevail when it comes to choosing leaders and those who exhibit such tendencies should be shunned for the sake of our future.
Let us vet all those who desire to lead and if they have traits of war mongers, we should never at all entrust them with positions of leadership. This is a solemn decision I invite every Nigerian should take even as we look at the future of Nigeria beyond election time.
Protocol, the above missive is applicable to our dear organization and in particular our young and fastest growing Rotaract District 9125. We must stand to our responsibilities, PEACE is a responsibility.
A Declaration of Peace
I declare peace on myself
With all of my imperfections
For I am a child of God
I declare peace on my parents
As flawed as my upbringing may have been
Because I know it was the best they could do
I declare peace on my children
Even when they rebel against me
For they will eventually succeed me
I declare peace on my community
For this is where I live and work and raise my family
And it is here that I need to be an example for others
I declare peace on my government
Even when I do not always agree with its direction
For it is the hope of so many around the world
I declare peace on all political parties
As different as they are they are all the same
Deep down they only want what they believe is best
I declare peace on all women
For they are the source of my life and the portal to my future
They are the connection of humanity to the Earth
I declare peace on all men
Even when they rape and pillage the Earth
For in the end they must lead us to the Promised Land
I declare peace on all the children of the Earth
For they are our future and our salvation
It is they who are closest to God
I declare peace on all races
For there is only one race, the Human Race
We all have a common ancestor and were all created in God’s image
I declare peace on all who are different than myself
For as I judge them I am only judging me
They are the lessons of tolerance, patience and acceptance
I declare peace on all nations
Especially those who seek to dominate us
For our future survival lies in cooperation, not competition
I declare peace on my enemies
For they are no different than I
We must learn to see each other as One
I declare peace on the oceans
For it is there where life began on Earth
And only healthy oceans will sustain us
I declare peace on the atmosphere
For it bestows upon us the breath of life
Without clean air our bodies will become toxic
I declare peace on the land
For it is the source of our food which is our medicine
And it is what keeps us grounded in our journeys toward ascension
I declare peace on the forests and jungles
For they are the lungs of the Earth
And the incubator and home of the greatest biodiversity
I declare peace on our Mother Earth
We must all work to support, sustain and nourish her
For in failing to do this we will surely parish
I declare peace on my faith
Although it is my faith it is not perfect
And I must work within it to achieve its potential
I declare peace on all other faiths
Because I recognize that all faiths are branches of the one faith
That all faiths lead back to their source, the source of all
I declare peace on my God
For creating a world so imperfect and violent
Because deep down I know it is I who has made it thus, not God
Oh, and did I mention I declare peace on myself
For if I fail in this mission
There will be no peace on Earth
Today I am at peace.
Blessings and Peace Always.