Sunday, 21 September 2014, was observed around the world as the International Day of Peace and the International theme for this year was the “Right of Peoples to Peace”
One of the principal purposes of any nation is the promotion and protection of Human Rights to peace. However, the structures and activities which permit countries particularly African countries to perform these critical as well as pivotal roles in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedom are sadly lacking in our midst.
Violence continues in the Central African Republic, Syria, Iraq, Mali, South Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen. We have flooding in India and Pakistan.
No one predicted early in the year that the Ebola scourge would be ravaging Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. But we are all witnesses to the pains of Ebola. Since September 1, the death toll from the Ebola epidemic in Liberia has grown from about 390 to well above 667-an increase of more than 40 percent in three weeks.
According to the UN Secretary General, “the world is facing multiple crises. Each has its own dynamics, and requires its own approach.”
In Liberia, our local theme as we commemorated the International Day of Peace focused on: “Ebola Is not A Precursor to Violence”. Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia as you are all aware is founded on the pledge for nonviolence because peace and the rights of peoples to peace are essential to social progress and sustainable development.
Without adequate access to food, water, health and education, and compliance of everyone to reduce the risk of contagion, there is the possibility of escalation of the EVD that would threaten our national security.
We would not allow the issues around the spread of Ebola virus define us as humans and together, we will continue to address the prevailing conditions that tend to divide us.
As I prepared the notes for World Peace Day, I was reminded of the Bible book of Psalms 23. Not only does God provide for us, He is also a protecting Shepherd, Who defends us from attack.
It is important to note, though, what Psalms 23 did not say. As much as we might want to avoid hard times, this passage doesn’t tell us that God will lead us around the “valley of the shadow of death”. Rather, He leads us through it.
The Messengers of Peace-Liberia and its partners would like to take this opportunity to thank the Liberia Council of Churches, the Trinity Cathedral Episcopal Church and other faith-based organizations for the important roles they continue to play in sustainable peace in Liberia.
The right to peace involves harmonious relationships among individuals, and between individuals and the state. Most importantly, it involves our relationship with God. The right to peace also involves a joint responsibility for the nation’s welfare.
There is no excuse for any nation not to respond quickly and generously to prevention and control efforts and we would like to take this opportunity to encourage our Government to do more by building more patients’ isolation and treatment centers, develop a comprehensive strategy for contact tracing and reporting and commence training programmes for desperately needed health care providers and community volunteers.
Until next week, when we bring to you another piece on “Taking a look ahead”, stay safe and well.
We all have a right to peace and we need your prayers. May Peace Prevail on earth! God bless our country Liberia. – Thank you.