By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, has said that building sustainable World Peace would require promoting the culture of tolerance, inclusion and reconciliation.
In a statement by the UN Office in Nigeria to commemorate the International Day of Living Together in Peace, Kallon said that the values which he identified were necessary ingredients to foster World Peace.
The UN chief, who said that the International Day had been marked since 2017, pointed out that “living together in peace was all about accepting differences, embracing diversity, and having the ability to listen to, respect and understand each other.
“Since 2017 we have been marking this International Day on May 16 and using the opportunity to promote a culture of tolerance, inclusion, and reconciliation.
“It is upon these foundational values that we can build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity, and harmony.
“The need to ‘Live Together in Peace’ is a notion at the very core of the United Nations. In fact, it is present in the very first line of the UN Charter,” he said.
He said that the Charter which was written in 1945 amid the ashes of the World War II depicts the UN as the embodiment of the collective desire of the international community to ‘live together in peace’.
Kallon said that the charter reads in part: “We the peoples of the UN determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.
“Today, this idea is embedded in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The global pandemic and its economic aftershocks have only reinforced how interconnected we all are, living together in a global village.
“Peace, prosperity and planet are three links in the same chain,” he said.
The UN Chief in Nigeria, thereforeencouraged everyone in Nigeria to be an agent, ambassador and advocate for peace.
Sighting a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. he said: “If we are to have peace on earth…our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
“These are words to live by.
“This International Day provides a moment to reflect on specific actions that we can take to reach across lines to promote harmony, rapprochement and inclusion.
“Peace is not just the absence of conflict, but a culture of compassion and a disposition to dialogue,” he said.
He urged everyone to extend an olive branch to one person as a gesture to spark the process of reconciliation so that all can find unity in diversity.
He pointed out that a core function of the UN in Nigeria was to support the Nigerian government in attaining the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Kallon added that the essence of the support was to spur development as there can be no peace without development, and there is no development without peace.
“We must act – urgently and collectively – to build a future for all of us where we can live together in harmony. Let’s invest in peace today and reap the dividends tomorrow,” he said (NAN)