“Peace Is Essential To Any Nation” -UMC Human Rights Monitor Director Cautions Liberian

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As Liberians get set to go to the poll on tomorrow Tuesday, November 14, 2023 to vote in the much anticipated presidential run-off election between the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and the Unity Party (UP), the United Methodist Church (UMC) Human Rights Monitor has concluded a day-long seminar for young people across the country on the importance of maintaining the peace that Liberians currently enjoyed. The day-long event which was organized by the Human Right Monitor of the UMC, in collaboration with Grassroot Action to Promote Peace (GAP), was graced by scores of young people to brainstorm on various topics that included ‘What is Peace and the Importance of it, the Objectives of Peace in any Society, Citizens’ Participation in Promoting Peace at the Grassroots Level among others. Making his presentation during the program, the UMC Human Right Monitor Director, Jefferson B. Knight informed the gathering that Peace is widely being characterized as a state of harmony by the absence of conflict, violence, and hostility, but it goes beyond the mere war and covers various aspects of human existence that have to do with social, political, economic, and personal spheres. According to him, peace is not just the absence of violence, but it is a favorable condition that fosters the well-being and fulfillment of individuals and communities, stressing that the importance of peace cannot be overstated. He named Stability and Security, Human Development, Conflict Resolution, Human Rights and Equality, Environmental Preservation, Global Cooperation, Well-being and Quality of Life as some of the reasons while peace is very much vital to any developing Nation like Liberia. The UMC Human Rights Executive emphasized that promoting peace require efforts at various levels which include individual, community, national, and international, as well as building bridges, fostering understanding, promoting dialogue, and addressing the root causes of conflicts.  “Peace is not a passive state, but an active pursuit that requires ongoing commitment, empathy, and cooperation from individuals and institutions alike,” he said. He told the audience that the objectives of peace in any society will include Conflict Resolution, Security and Safety, Justice and Equality, Cooperation and Collaboration, Sustainable Development, Reconciliation and Healing, Respect for Human Rights, Cultural Understanding and Diversity, Education and Awareness, as well as International Cooperation.  Director Knight however, stated that for a Nation to achieve peace it require a comprehensive approach that addresses the root cause of conflicts and promotes a culture of peace at all levels of society, adding that those objectives are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. According to him, citizens’ participation plays a crucial role in promoting peace in their various communities, and some of the ways in which they can contribute to fostering peace is by engaging into Dialogue and Communication, Conflict Resolution, Promoting Tolerance and Inclusion, Community Building and Cooperation, Advocacy and Awareness, Education and Skill Development, Supporting Local Peacebuilding Efforts and Political Engagement. “It is important to note that sustainable peace requires collective efforts and the engagement of all members of society, and Citizens’ participation is essential for creating a peaceful community where individuals can thrive and live harmoniously,” he cautioned. Accordingly, citizens can contribute to the peace of a country by actively engaging in community-building initiatives, and this may involve volunteering for local organizations, participating in community events, or collaborating on projects that promote social cohesion and unity. Macpherson C. Marbiah writes/0886442881-0777250370

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