International Day of Peace - Breaking the Shackles of Violence and Embracing Peace

 "The future of our children is promising if we can all end violence against them"

The International Day of Peace, set to be celebrated on 21st of September offers us another great opportunity to reflect on the efforts, sacrifices and lives lost through the struggle to achieve sustainable livelihood, development and peace. It is through such struggles that the world has become a better place for us and especially children to thrive in. Unfortunately, our efforts continue to be threatened by challenges like: - poverty, hunger, hate, diseases, violence, corruption, greed, ignorance, racism, and tribalism, among others. Such challenges are the basis of deprivation of peace and development in the world today. They have made youth and children so susceptible and vulnerable to the skewed ideas of violent extremist groups that seem to be gaining ground globally. In the face of all these, children continue to be subjected to massive violence every day, almost everywhere.

It is because of such challenges to peace and security that one hundred and ninety three (193) Member States of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. The SDGs, which are in line with vision 2030 agenda of creating a unified and developed world, aim at empowering humanity towards prosperity and growth. Such ambitions are fundamental in achieving peace and progress towards humankind.

This year’s International Day of Peace dubbed ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace,’ is just but the beginning of the long campaign in ensuring peace and prosperity in all the corners of mother earth. As GNRC, we have confidence in the joint efforts to make the world a better and peaceful place to live in. It is in line with this that our GNRC 5th Forum, scheduled to take place in Panama City, Panama in May 2017 focuses on the theme, “Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Communities in Action”. The Forum will discuss three sub-themes; Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime; Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing; and Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children.

We invite each one of you in big and small ways to give a thought to the International Day of Peace.

Mustafa Signature

Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali,
Secretary General, Global Network of Religions for Children
Director, Arigatou International–Nairobi