Category Archives: International Day of Peace

Youth leaders skilled on “Peace and Development” in Yaounde

Cameroon is currently being rocked by waves of attacks from the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency in her northern region, while the English speaking North West and South West Regions are witnessing social upheavals since November 2016, complaining about marginalization and assimilation by the Francophone majority. Youths have been mute and absent in the peace building process of these conflicts. This, in total ignorance of UNSC Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, adopted on 9 December 2015, which acknowledges the urgent need to engage young peacebuilders in promoting peace and countering extremism.

Against this backdrop, UNIC Yaounde organized a one-day training workshop for youth leaders on “Youth, Peace and Development”, in partnership with “Promise Africa” and the “Organization of African Youth for Peace (OAYP)” on Thursday April 13, 2017. The objective was to build the skills of youths on the fundamentals of peace consolidation, conflict prevention and crisis management, and engage them in the peacebuilding process.

UNIC’s Jean Njita emphasized the correlation between peace and Development, emphasizing Kant’s perpetual peace to Galtung’s negative and positive peace, presenting the history of Development through Rostow’s “stages of economic growth”, the 1992 Rio Earth summit, to the MDGs and SDGs. Focus was on SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, for “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no genuine peace without sustainable development.

The high rate of youth unemployment in Cameroon (about 6.7% in 2013, according to ILO), was identified as the reason for the high involvement of youths in conflicts, and political authorities were called upon to exercise good governance, for poor employability will eventuality lead to more conflicts. UNSCR 2250 was highlighted as a major instrument to mobilize youths in peace and Development activities as young peacebuilders, for it brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace. While Education, public awareness, youths training are pre-requisites for a durable peace building, genuine mediation can be a catalyst in reconciling and healing post conflicts societies. One participant called on youths to “bury their egoism, be tolerant, and accept different viewpoints for peace to thrive in their hearts…for today’s youths are too proud”

Participants acknowledged that youths have a role to play in conflict resolution, and should thus get involved. They were encouraged to use social media to transmit messages of love and reconciliation, to rebuild broken homes, and their society. Just as war is waged, Cameroonian youths should also ‘wage peace’ by making peace a full time activity. NGOs and associations advocating for Peace were urged to network for better coordination and greater impact of activities on the field. At the end, testimonials were handed to all participants.

Conference-Debate on “the Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”

UNIC Yaounde partnered with the United Nations Association of Cameroon (ANUCAM) to organize a Debate-Conference on: “the Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace” at the National Commission for UNESCO on 20 September 2016 in Yaounde.
ANUCAM’s Executive Secretary; Engamba Charles Lambert, outlined the achievements of his association in his welcome address and highlighted the adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in New York in September 2015.
Mr Pascal Kengne; Consultant on the SDGs and President of the Africa Development Interchange Network (ADIN), presented the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and further emphasized government’s efforts to contextualize these goals in Cameroon. He thus advocated for the mobilization and involvement of all development actors.
UNIC’s KMA; Jean Njita after defining the concept of Peace from the UN Charter, intimated that the absence of war does not guarantee peace, as peace is a state of inner wellbeing which can be enjoyed by an individual, a people, a nation and the world. He further demonstrated that each of the 17 goals intends to eradicate the root causes of conflicts and violence in our society, and thus is a building block for positive peace dixit Johan Galtung, the peace crusader and researcher. SDGs are for human wellbeing, thus no development without peace, and no genuine peace without development.
A question and answer session followed these presentations during which participants were further clarified on salient points concerning UN’s peace efforts. At the end of the day, participants realized that achieving the SDGs in Cameroon would promote and consolidate lasting peace; because a country which is not plagued by hunger, poverty, social inequality, obstacles to economic and social development, human rights violations, is a country at peace.
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UN Secretary -General’s Message on the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2016 [Version française plus bas]

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Every year on the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls on warring parties to lay down their arms and observe a 24-hour global ceasefire. The symbolism of a day without fighting is a crucial reminder that conflict can and must come to an end. But peace is about much more than putting weapons aside. It is about building a global society in which people live free from poverty and share the benefits of prosperity. It is about growing together and supporting each other as a universal family.
The theme of this year’s Peace Day highlights the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs – as Building Blocks for Peace. Conflict often starts when people compete over limited resources. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our blueprint to prevent such conflicts from arising by making sure no one is left behind. When the 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals last September, their message was clear.
Sustainable development is essential for lasting peace, and both depend on respect for human rights. We need to protect our planet. And only by working together can we make our common home safe for future generations. All of us can be sustainable development advocates and spread the word about the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. And we can all hold our governments to account for keeping their pledge to the future.
Let us all work together to help all human beings achieve dignity and equality; to build a greener planet; and to make sure no one is left behind. On this International Day of Peace, express your commitment to peace by becoming a champion of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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poster-medChaque année, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la paix, l’Organisation des Nations Unies invite les belligérants du monde entier à déposer les armes et à observer un cessez-le-feu de 24 heures. La valeur symbolique d’une journée sans combats nous rappelle de façon opportune que les conflits peuvent et doivent prendre fin. Mais la paix ne se réduit pas à une simple trêve. Elle implique de bâtir à l’échelle mondiale une société dont les membres vivent à l’abri de la pauvreté et bénéficient tous de la prospérité, une société où tous grandissent ensemble, unis par la solidarité de la grande famille universelle.Cette année, le thème de la Journée fait la part belle aux 17 objectifs de développement durable, qui sont les piliers de la paix. En effet, la ruée vers des ressources limitées est souvent à l’origine des conflits. Nous devons nous appuyer sur le Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 pour empêcher que de tels conflits éclatent en faisant en sorte que personne ne soit laissé pour compte. Lorsque les 193 États Membres de l’Organisation des Nations Unies ont adopté à l’unanimité les 17 objectifs de développement durable en septembre dernier, leur message était clair.
Le développement durable est essentiel pour l’instauration d’une paix durable, et le respect des droits de l’homme en est la condition préalable. Nous devons protéger la planète, notre lieu de vie commun, et ce n’est qu’en œuvrant de concert que nous pourrons la rendre sûre pour les générations à venir. Nous pouvons tous être les hérauts du développement durable et faire connaître le Programme 2030 et les objectifs de développement durable. Nous pouvons aussi tous demander à nos dirigeants de rendre compte de ce qu’ils font pour tenir les engagements qu’ils ont pris pour l’avenir.
Tous ensemble, mobilisons-nous en faveur de la dignité et de l’égalité de tous les êtres humains, ainsi que d’une planète plus verte, en veillant à ne laisser personne de côté. Célébrez la Journée internationale de la paix en vous faisant le champion des objectifs de développement durable.