There is something about harnessing the latent energy of young people for peaceful conduct of the next Presidential and Parliamentarian elections that we believe has not yet been revealed or dialogued about, something that the rest of us need to know.
Young people need to know from all the presidential aspirants what they have in stock for sustainable peace and what role young people would or should play in the upcoming elections.
In a world where divisive politics and unholy partnerships are derailing governments, harnessing the latent energy of young people can play a bigger role in resolving electoral conflicts and violence. At Messengers of Peace (MOP)-
Liberia, we would continue to preach reconciliation and advocate for conflict mediation in schools and communities.
The young people in Liberia should be committed to the notion that their pursuit of sustainable peace can be harnessed to solve many of the country’s most pressing challenges. Young people should step forward to develop projects that would address electoral challenges. Young people should mobilize themselves and others to vote according to the dictates of their conscience and conviction.
Elections to public offices should not be based on tribal, religious or other forms of affiliation but based on transparency, fairness and objectivity of purpose to serve. Our politics should be based on trust not reprisal, action not words and commitment to the upliftment of Liberia not money. It is not how much money is shared but how many persons reached for sustainable peace.
Peace consolidation is quiet often driven by young people, who most of the time volunteer their talents, resources and skills to conflict mediation, peace advocacy, reporting on triggers to violence and providing assistance to others.
Mounting evidence points to a powerful tool for staying on track in everything that we do. As young people we need to choose habits that increase our love and peace for the country. We also need to commit our energy towards peaceful elections in October 2017.
Anecdotal reports show that young people are most ideal interlocutors to deliver constructive electoral messages about participatory processes, promoting dialogue necessary to build trust, civic responsibility and solidarity.
It is our position at MOP-Liberia that partnership with young people should never be used to serve other political goals or organizational mandate. On the contrary, partnership is best served by strong government agencies and international NGOs, acting for the good of all.
In the words of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “The interconnected nature of today’s crises requires us to connect our own efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, not just in words, but also in practice.” Harnessing the latent energy of young people requires us to connect, as the synergy of our efforts would result in a peaceful electoral outcome.
Until next week when we come to you with another of our series on harnessing the latent energy of young people for peaceful elections-Part IV, let peace be your watch work, peace first, peace above all else. May peace prevail on earth!
A mission to make a difference-February edition