Messengers of Peace (MOP) – Liberia has not witnessed an issue, since we started the dialogue for peace fora among young people, so hotly contested as the recipe for peace. There are two schools of thoughts on this issue. One school of thought is of the opinion that, there are no recipes for peace. The other school of thought argues to the contrary.
MOP-Liberia opines there is a recipe for peace. While we are first to admit the lace of blue print for peace and there is ‘no one size fits all’ approach to peace, we conclude that there is a recipe for peace and it starts with us. It begins with the truth.
The question is asked, how people hope for peace when society lacks the basic ingredient for Peace. To us at MOP-Liberia, the absence of truth to selves is like cooking food without salt as one of the essential ingredients to food. Most successful peace and reconciliation programme in post conflict environment begins with the establishment of truth and reconciliation process.
Our belief and value systems are recipes for peace. It is our contention that man or woman by nature is not violent. The lack of strong belief and value systems or the erosion of these beliefs including ignorance is sure precursor for violence and conflict. Therefore, recipe for peace calls for the enforcement of our cultural beliefs, religious and value systems.
When there is conflict among individual, the need for mediation to resolve conflict is invoked but following civil strife, emphasis is placed on developmental projects and security. Little attention is most often paid to other recipes for peace that have been in place before the conflict.
We are of the notion that post conflict interventions for sustainable peace should build on existing belief systems and establish informal community mediation support functions in communities to feed into other systems such as the ‘Palava’ hut that most often tend to be stigmatized as a Government tool put in place to bamboozle the common people. Trust is an essential ingredient for peace.
While we agree with the need for robust leadership as a pre-requisite for sustainable peace, the recipe for peace must include heavy investment in human social security as we have always maintained, the establishment or restoration of the rule of law, support for the involvement of young people in constitutional review and reform processes and the promotion of human rights and gender parity.
These are the recipes for peace in any society. Everyone has a role to play in it if we are to maintain peace and security. Partnership is vital to preventing violence and critical to maintaining peace and security.
In the coming weeks, Messengers of Peace-Liberia would gauge the recipe for peace among young people and winning submissions would be published. In addition, we would be introducing to the public our young volunteer peace messengers and the peace messages they bring.
Until next week, when we continue our dialogue among Peace Messengers- What is your recipe for peace, it is Peace First, Peace above all else. May Peace prevail on earth!