MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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Each year, the International day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. This year, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia, in light of the occurring of the deadliest outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in our midst, has decided to devote an entire week to heightening awareness on the ideals of peace and to the containment of the EVD in peace time.

Against this background, MOP-Liberia launched, on Monday, 15 September its week-long activities with meditation, reflection and peace education at the Newport Street Mosque in Monrovia and panel discussions amongst our volunteer peace messengers on SKY FM 107.0, Radio Veritas FM 97.8, and an Intercessory Service for Peace with the ringing of a peace bell, Peace Wave, and candle light for peace at the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church on Broad Street Sunday September 21 at 10 a.m. The international theme for this year is the general assembly declaration on the “Right of Peoples to Peace” and at the local level, our theme is “Ebola Is not A Precursor for Violence.”

MOP-Liberia would continue along the lines of its educational outreach programs to faith-based organizations, community groups and youths. To preserve the gains made in the decade of unbroken peace, we must unite to defeat EVD. As young people we must not allow the outbreak of Ebola be a precursor for violence. It’s a tough time in the world already.

According to the UN Secretary General, “the world is facing multiple crises. Each has its own dynamics, and requires ties own approach.” Violence continues in Syria, Iraq, Mali, Ukraine, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. We have flooding in India and Pakistan. There is an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

We would not allow these issues to define us as human and together, we will address the prevailing conditions that tend to divide us. We need to act decisively and the International Day of Peace provides us a great opportunity for sober reflection. It is essential to keep at the front burner the protection of public health. It is very important that our leadership show solidarity to national peace necessary to control the spread of Ebola.

We welcome the momentum of international consensus to act against the serious threat to our regional peace and development and we take this opportunity to call on our national leaders to unite in the fight against EVD. We should avoid in the media disparaging remarks that would derail global efforts to prevent and control EVD in Liberia. The cost and the suffering of our people continue to grow exponentially.  The price tag for the prevention and control of Ebola virus is now a billion dollars. No one needs the money; all we need is for EVD to be eradicated from this nation.

We also need to uphold human dignity and respect for the rule of law in our country to defeat poverty, increase access to basic social amenities and respond to the fight against EVD. We should take this opportunity to dispel rumors, calm nerves and fears, alleviate suffering and build trust and confidence in Government and health systems. Peace and human security are essential ingredients for social progress and sustainable human development.

The messenger of Peace- Liberia invites all organizations and people to commemorate the week of peace through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our traditional sponsors, Daily Observer, UNMIL Public Information Section, Liberia Peace Building Office, the Catholic Church, Council of Churches, Muslim Congress, Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism as well as The Carter Center.

Our message to fellow Liberians as we commemorate the International Day of Peace is best captured in the preamble of the constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), where it mentioned that “since wars begin in the minds of

men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed, that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of Governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if this is not to fail upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind”

Until next week, when we would bring to you ongoing dialogue among peace messengers, Peace first. Peace above all else. May Peace Prevail on earth!

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