LIBERIA: “Peace is All We Need” Says Minister Kanneh

By Amos Harris

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP) acting Minister Hassan Karneh urged Liberians to keep in Liberia, peace is all we need.

Minister Kanneh spoke on Wednesday, September 21 at the Monrovia City Hill in Monrovia; when Liberia joined the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of Peace.

The day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.

The Government of Liberia in collaboration with working groups: Women, Youth, Peace, and Security in West Africa, the Sahel commemorated the International Day of Peace under the theme “End Racism. Build Peace”.

Delivering a special statement at the occasion, Acting Gender, Children, and Social Protection Minister Hassan Karneh told stakeholders that a society without peace is like living in the state of nature without knowledge – it erases all gains and puts everyone backward as without peace there is war and war only brings brutish barbarism.

“This year’s event is commemorated under the theme: “End Racism. Build Peace” calls on all of us to synchronize our efforts as we work towards a world free of racism and racial discrimination

In our world today, racism, xenophobia and related discrimination and intolerance exist in all societies, everywhere – which we condemn in the strongest terms. Racism harms not just the lives of those who endure it, but also society as a whole.”

The Acting Gender Minister cautioned, we all lose in a society characterized by discrimination, division, distrust, intolerance, and hate.

The fight against racism is everyone’s fight; we all have a part to play in building a world beyond racism.

The civil wars fought in Liberia took away the lives of many Liberians and destroyed millions worth of properties, leaving people either internally displaced or fled into neighboring countries as refugees; and most of all, women and girls’ human rights were grossly violated.

If we can record, in early 2003, the women of Liberia began to make their voices heard and called for the war to come to an end by staging numerous peaceful demonstrations including the last protest at the Peace Conference in Accra, which led to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord in Accra, Ghana in August 2003.

Today, the women of Liberia still strive to ensure that the peace is sustained.”

He lauded the women of Liberia for their vibrant advocacy which helped restored the peace of the nation.

“The importance of peace for any society is obvious. Without peace, no nation and no individual can move forward. Only in a peaceful atmosphere can we continue to grow as a nation and secure our children’s future”, the Acting Gender boss added.

Historically, in 2009, Liberia became one of the first countries to develop a National Action Plan (NAP) on UNSCR 1325, which demonstrated the government’s commitment to involving women in peace building and conflict resolution processes.

“As we celebrate the International Day of Peace today, let us remember that the challenge is enormous, but so are our capabilities when we act together.

As we look forward, we reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women as a foundation for a more peaceful and prosperous country.

We are happy for His Excellency, the President Dr. George M. Weah, who has not remained silent but continuous to pay keen attention to issues affecting women and children and has mandated us, his lieutenants, to carry out our work intentionally and purposefull,”

We recognized the efforts of all partners, both national and international, for their continuous engagement with key institutions of government, in an effort to tackle issues affecting women and girls, and for also working with us in providing the necessary support for women’s empowerment and reducing the inequality gap in our society.

In a special message from the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the occasion marking the International Day of Peace, the UN Secretary-General said peace is a noble and necessary pursuit and the only practical pathway to a better, fairer world for all people.

“End Racism, Build Peace” reminds us of the many ways racism poisons people’s hearts and minds and erodes the peace we all seek. Racism robs people of their rights and dignity.

Inflames inequalities and mistrust pushes people apart, at a time when we should be coming together, as one human family, to repair our fractured world.” Secretary Guterres asserted.

For his part, Ambassador of the economic community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Madam Josephine Nkrumah has called on Liberians to actualize unity in order to serve as a peace Ambassador in the country.

She said ethnicity is the one that destroyed Liberia and as such it is good to be a nationalist.

“Politicizing ethnicity threatens peace and stability” Madam Nkrumah noted that ethnicity diversity threatens peace and stability and as such Liberian should build the aspect of social cohesion.

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