By Maureen Okon
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has urged Nigerians to use the forthcoming Peace Day celebration to become agents of peace.
The appeal is contained in a statement signed by Esther Ndukwe, the Institute’s Media Officer and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
It stated that the upcoming Peace Day, for Sept. 21, has as its theme: “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.
It stated that the theme was inspired by the global challenges occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
IPCR noted that the virus had negatively affected all strata of the population, including those caught in conflict settings because of their vulnerability to the vagaries of the environment and the lack of access to healthcare.
It said the celebration was sequel to the UN General Assembly’s declaration of Sept. 21 as the International Day of Peace or World Peace Day through Resolution 55/282 of 1981.
“The institute is 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.
The institute listed the stakeholders to include relevant civil society organisations, security agencies, Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) and development partners.
“The Peace Day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, providing a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace above all differences and contributing to a culture of peace despite prevailing challenges.
The IPCR said it has begun consultations with state and non-state actors in order to strategise on modalities for conducting impactful activities for the recovery and mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic and violent conflicts in Nigeria.
It called on all Nigerians to take responsibility in their neighbourhoods, communities and groups to make peace happen through peace-building activities such as peace sensitisation, peace advocacies, peace talks, arts, sports, dialogue and mediation, either online or offline.
According to the IPCR, conflict becomes negative, destructive and costly to all when they become violent.
It said it was the institute’s utmost conviction that peace was possible with non-violent approach to dispute resolution.
“We call on all parties to disputes across the country to deploy the use of dialogue and non-violent approach to resolving their conflicts,” it stated. (NAN)