Sequel to the United Nations General Assembly’s declaration of 21 September as the International Day of Peace or World Peace Day through Resolution 55/282 of 1981, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) standing on its statutory mandate as the Federal Government of Nigeria’s think tank and agency for the promotion of peace, annually commemorates the Day of Peace with a number of activities in collaboration and support of critical stakeholders which include relevant civil society organizations, security agencies, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and, development partners.
The Peace Day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and to contribute to a culture of peace despite prevailing challenges. The theme for this year’s celebration;“Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”, was inspired bythe global challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively affects all strata of the population, including those caught in conflict settings because of their vulnerability to the vagaries of the environment and lack of access to healthcare.
In line with the United Nations’ annual appeal for the observation of non-violence and cease fire, the Security Council’s call for a ‘sustained humanitarian pause’ to local conflicts and the prevalence of violent conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution has begun consultations with state and non-state actors to strategize on modalities for conducting impactful activities for the recovery and mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic and violent conflict in Nigeria.
Of particular importance this year, is the localization of the global call and practice of observing Ceasefire and non-violence on the 21st of September every year by combatants or parties in conflict. This also aligns with the African Union (AU) programme of “Silencing the Guns”.We are reaching out to and calling on all peace loving people, the civil society including faith-based groups, traditional and religious leaders, statesmen, women, youths and media peace networks, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Security Agencies and Development partners to leverage their mandates and areas of operational presence and influence to take action towards realizing a ceasefire or non-violence, especially on the Day of Peace.
By this call, we are asking every Nigerian to take responsibility in their neighbourhoods, communities or groups to make peace happen through peace-building activities such as peace sensitization, peace advocacies, peace talks, arts, sports, dialogue and mediation, either online or offline. It should be noted that in social relations, conflict is inevitable and may be necessary for peace to occur. However, conflict becomes negative, destructive and costly to all when they become violent. It is our utmost conviction that peace is possible with non-violent approach to dispute resolution.We therefore call on all parties to dispute across the country to deploy the use of dialogue and non-violent approach to resolving their conflict.
We encourage all Nigerians to use the upcoming Peace Day celebration on 21 September, 2021 to spread compassion, kindness, tolerance, hope, love and peace for sustained recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and violentconflict. We have begun listing of activities by stakeholders all over the country to track responses and impact. The Institute’s Facebook account is also open to receiving all recovery and peace-building activities by stakeholders for documentation and global visibility of local efforts towards realizing the theme of this year’s Peace Day, “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”
We look forward to having a collaborative and successful International Day of Peace in Nigeria.