Mr. Lamin Manneh "International Day of Peace"

Sep 21, 2012

Lamin Manneh,  ONE UN RC & UNDP RR in Rwanda

Address to the closing ceremony of the Peace and Democracy Week "Dialogue and Inclusiveness - Central to Democracy and Peace"
21st of September 2012 - Lemigo Hotel - Kigali, Rwanda.

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All protocol observed    
On behalf of the One UN Family in Rwanda I salute you all.

It is with great pleasure and honour that I address you here today on this International Day of Peace.

The International Day of Peace was established by a unanimous resolution of the United Nations in 1981 as a day "devoted each year to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of Peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” Since then, the  International Day of Peace is observed globally.
The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21st  each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace.

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945 in San Franciso.
•    to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
•    to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
•    to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
•    to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom

By means of this charter, the UN devoted itself to world peace By observing this day, the UN aims to encourage people to work in cooperation for this noble goal.

The International Day of Peace is meant to keep the flame of peace-ful co-existence burning. It aims at renewing our commitment to individual, community, national, regional, and global peace.

In June this year, world leaders came together in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to renew political commitment to long term sustainable development.  
It is in the context of the Rio+20 Conference that the theme “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future” was chosen for this year’s International Day of Peace.
It is based on the understanding that there can be no sustainable future without sustainable peace and conversely that sustainable peace must be built on sustainable development.
The UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were crafted on the belief that life without war and insecurity serves as the foundation for the material well-being, development and progress of countries and for the full implementation of the rights and fundamental freedoms.

Around the world, millions of people are joining the call for peace today through a range of activities and events. It is important for us to show solidarity.
 “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be construed” and that peace must be founded, if it is not to fail upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.

The International Day of Peace and the International Democracy Day celebrations in Rwanda have focused on promoting dialogue among the youth in high institutions of learning on their role towards entrenching a democratic and peaceful state.

I wish to congratulate the Government of Rwanda for recognizing and encouraging the role of  youth as stakeholders in development, peace and democracy.

So, today, Rwanda also celebrates the evident gains of the long and hard fight for peace. Let me take this opportunity to recognize the Government and the people of Rwanda for their valuable efforts in building peace in Rwanda.

Let me pause here a minute, and also salute the Rwandan men and women of the RDF and RNP serving in peacekeeping missions abroad. In Darfur, I have witnessed first hand the incredible contribution Rwanda is making to peace elsewhere in the world.

As thousands of people worldwide observe a day of peace, let us also not forget the victims of the genocide in Rwanda and join together in the ‘peace wave’ by making the pledge of Never Again. As the saying goes, ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’.

This week has been a testimony to the fact that peace and democracy are interlinked and inter-related and that one cannot exist to the exclusion of the other.

We are here today to celebrate peace and democracy in Rwanda. We are here to affirm that both require positive, dynamic participatory processes.  We are here to encourage dialogue and to solve conflicts  in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation.  

Rwanda home grown initiatives have been enlightening examples to the rest of the world.
I am pleased to say that the UN, and more specifically UNDP, has contributed to peace-building efforts in Rwanda including support to the Gacaca process, support to the National Unity and reconciliation Commission and the establishment of the Rwanda Peace Academy.

It is crucial to remember, however, that promoting peace is also an individual task.  It is the responsibility of all of us to take action.It is the responsibility of all of us to supportg a global movement for the construction of a Culture of Peace based on the universal values of respect for life, justice, solidarity, human rights and equality between men and women.

The overriding principle in our path to peace must be the ultimate value of the human being who deserves full respect and protection of the rights enshrined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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