By Gwendolyn S. Myers, Executive Director, Messengers of Peace-Liberia
As young people growing up in a post conflict environment and voting for the first-time, we do not have any particular political affiliation but a philosophy of peace. The democratic election of the next President of Liberia means a lot to us as young people. It is therefore incumbent on us to make the electoral process work in our best interest.
The next run-off election gives us respite to consider the larger Liberian journey toward greater and equal opportunity for young people. It also gives us a chance to think and relook two party manifestoes. We do have an important role to play in the run-off election scheduled for 7 November 2017 and we must respond to these roles.
Our mission is to make it an election free of any form of violence, conflict and confusion. At Messengers of Peace (MOP) Liberia, we continue to engage your support, meaningful involvement and active participation in the campaigns and mobilization of young people to vote. We have before us the opportunity to influence the outcome of this election and we must use it prudently.
Ultimately, we want a country where we can grow as young people and develop as a country. It is important to us that young people should feel inspired by a genuine sense of shared purpose and shared values. We need a President who will give us this assurance and we should be the vote for that President.
It is important that young people contribute positively to ongoing dialogue as parties pursue their electoral grievances in the court of law. It is also important that we allow the rule of law to prevail and not take laws into our own hands.
The words of United Nations Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres, resonate with us when in his message during the commemoration of the United Nations Day last Tuesday, 24 October, that, “We have to transcend our differences to transform our future.” He went on to say “When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people – they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world.”
We commend the various programmes put in place to promote peaceful elections and the participation of youth led and youth based organizations promoting peace pledges across the country to enhance youth participation in the 2017 legislative and Presidential electoral process. We also commend the participation of the remaining two Presidential aspirants in the political process.
One of the critical goal of youth involvement and participation in the political arena is retention of young people in governance and we hope that the next administration would look into the important role that young people can play in the implementation of its policies.
We reiterate our strong condemnation to any form of violence that would pose a serious challenge to peace, development and impairs the enjoyment of human rights and dignity.
Until next week, when we come to you with yet another piece on Dialogue among Peace Messenger- a Meaningful Elections: Be the Vote (Part 4), it is Peace First, Peace above all else, may peace prevail in our time.