Over the centuries, we have had incidence of War and violence litter the pages of history. They in fact mark the timelines of our history. Man’s hostility to man began long before the sophistication of nuclear weapons and atomic explosive devices. The question then comes to mind, is man supposed to live in perpetual war? The inevitable answer is a capital NO!
Examination of Subject Matter
Man is biologically formed with the innate ability to coexist and cohabit peacefully on the face of the earth. Man was bond to share the universe with one another, thus the ability to so do without violence or war has equally been given to man.
Then the next question comes to mind. How did war then come about?
War is a language spoken by persons, dominions or governments who seek to show its superiority, assert its strength and superimpose its will over all others. It originated from a time of anarchy and brute force where there was no such thing as rights or laws or government. War then gradually took root in human vanity and pursuit of greatness at any cost.
The world has however metamorphosed from the 18th Century, the 19th Century to the most recent 20th century and now the 21st Century. Peaceful stakeholders around the world have re-awakened to the consciousness that in the best interest of our mutual existence, conflicts and mutual distrust which fans the flame of violence and War should be reduced as much as possible to the barest minimum.
In the wake of these dynamic changes across the globe, great men have pursued Peace and sought for social justice and awareness through the machineries of Peace. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in discussing Peace and non-violence demonstration described peace as follows:
"One day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means."
To achieve this end, to reinforce a universe govern by Peace, we need to put three basic fundamentals in place. In Albert Einstein’s words, "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." In the circumstances, for a better understanding of this discourse, we shall examine it from the following points of view. These tripartite (concurrent/ three in one) viewpoints are integral for Sustainable Peace and the Cessation of War and are laid down as follows:
Create a Peace Life Consciousness municipally and International.
Legislate Peace internationally and municipally.
Pass the Barton to the coming Generation by integrating Peace Education Institutionally across the world.
1. Create a Peace Life Consciousness municipally and International
We have come to achieve this end. We have walked for Peace sending to the hearts of our very society the need to resolve disputes amicably, avoid conflict and extend a hand of peace in every locality. We will not stop. We know it is a gradual process and we will continue to disseminate this gospel to all that cares to hear that the fabrics of any successful country or state or community or society is in shambles if not held together by the Golden threads of Peace.
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
The above are the words of President John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America. He agrees with the fact that to embed peace into the heart of a people and infuse it into their culture and tradition, we must take it one step at a time thereby teaching all the underlying principles and tenets of peace to avoid a diluted understanding or a misleading ideology of what Peace actually represent while attempting to inculcate such noble virtues.
We are the weavers of the very fabrics upon which society is built. We shall not tire. This golden thread has history unto our hands committed; the message of Peace must be communicated without fail. It will be written on the tablet of our hearts and will spring forth naturally from our consciousness. We will build this PEACE CONSCIOUSNESS and embed it in our minds thereby ensuring that our our life is properly guided and garnished by it. We will not tire out.
2. Legislate Peace Internationally and municipally
On the Second Point, it is imperative that take drastic steps to maintain peace both municipally and internationally. Chairman Mr. Lee of this World renowned Peace Organisation, HWPL, has invested his life into this pursuit of Happiness in other to find Peace. As the leader of this Campaign for Peace, one of his major objectives is to Legislate Peace at the international platform of the United Nations. As a Team of Peace Advocates, it is the object of our advocacy and the core of our collective belief in peaceful corporate co-existence.
If we carefully appraise the history of man from his Humble beginning in the garden of innocence to this very day, we would then agree that if laws can be centered on other phenomenal not half as important as peace, then it is time we began to formulate laws and regulations with the singular intention to legislate on Peace.
The DECLARATION OF PEACE AND CESSATION OF WAR is a Bill being presented before the General Assembly of the United Nations for the purpose of making it into an intentional law. It is a Bill that the rest of the World should throw its weight behind. It is high time we map out a framework for ourselves, our children and the generations yet unborn to leave a life of Peace, sanctity and tranquility.
It is no doubt that in a peaceful environment, ideas thrive and development is enhanced. Also resources are well managed and engaged and not exhausted on weapons, arms and ammunition. Life is also more precious and better preserved and in the end, longevity returns to its rightful place. If this be the case, then it is deductable that Peace is indeed a fundamental right and derivable from the terms embedded and enshrined in the most iconic Universal Declaration of rights (1945) from whence a lot of our generic rights take root today. The 39th United States of America’s President, Jimmy Carter clearly put it in the following words:
"Everyone has a right to peaceful coexistence, the basic personal freedoms, the alleviation of suffering, and the opportunity to lead a productive life..." - Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States of America.
The implication of the above is simply that Peace itself is a right that ought to receive the proper attention of world leaders and legislated upon accordingly by the international community. It does not stand alone. It therefore follows that legislating Peace is only a way of asserting and reinforcing the culture of Peace. Peace is its own reward [Mahatma Ghandhi] and it operates to vanquish at once the recurring smokes of war from our collective sky. Let’s give Peace a voice so that once again, we can live in the shinning Sun. Let’s knit our bonds of friendship together and stand as one.
3. Pass the Barton to the coming Generation by integrating Peace Education institutionally across the world:
Finally and most crucial of all, we need Peace education and reorientation to re-orchestrate our minds and redefine the future. Though we know the idea of Peace is not fundamentally alien to anyone, there is however need to equip us sufficiently with all necessary information to keep and sustain peace.
Every man craves peace like a long lost spouse. However, once found, we usually find it difficult to retain and keep it aflame. In the quest for knowledge for the purpose of sustaining Peace around the globe, institutions have been built around this subject matter of peace for scholastic purposes purely as a vessel for peace education. Few amongst these institutions are the United States Institute of Peace (educating especially on resolution of Inter-faith Dialogue and Dispute Resolution) the University of Peace with its headquarters at San Jose, Costa Rica, Peace Education Foundation and other institutions focused on expounding peace Education.
The efforts of Chairman Mr. Lee of HWPL and all others working with him cannot go unnoticed as he has visited several countries of the world in the quest to create renewed awareness for an institution of a peace regime in international planes. His efforts are indeed highly commendable and geared towards institutionalizing Peace Education thereby building a culture of Peace in our minds today and generations yet unborn.
Peace is a culture to be cultivated and harnessed. In order to enjoy SUSTAINABLE PEACE, there is need to learn to sustain it. We must learn the intricacies of Peace and the various manifestations of the tendencies of war and violence in any guise it may appear. This will aid us to keep violence at bay.
We need to teach peace philosophically, historically and legally. Peace should be introduced into very level of education. From elementary Education to Secondary Education and ultimately tertiary institutions. Using the University of Lagos, primus inter pares, as a springboard for this drive, this Peace Seminar is rightly set at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos to engender a growing development of Peace Education.
Though there are similitudes of this ideology in several other courses already being taught in Nigerian Universities by way of dispute resolution among others both at degree and masters level. We are here now to advocate for the entrenchment of Peace Education into the University’s curriculum and we have no doubts in our minds that other higher institutions of learning will naturally follow this lead. Peace should be made a major curriculum in our educational institution.
Peace Education should be made the bedrock upon which our jurisprudence is founded. To summarize the above position, Dalai Lama XIV describing peace and the essence of education pointed out succinctly thus: “Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”
Our drive is inter-generation for we now live in a borrowed world and after our time is spent other generations will begin theirs. Let’s leave as a gift the Knowledge of Peace. Let’s sow Peace as a Seed and it will grow mightily in a huge tree. Peace will then be that golden thread constant together, extending till tomorrow and still available to generations yet unborn through the stream of knowledge gushing through. LET’S TEACH PEACE all for Peace Sake.
Here I will round up by saying that Peace is a personal responsibility. A wise Woman, Mother Theresa, once said, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." We have that responsibility to each other to be Peace Ambassador from now on. Talk about Peace to everyone that cares to listen. To teach it in our Educational institutions in our homes and our localities.
Follow Peace with all men and you would marvel at what a wondrous life you would live. As aptly stated by the reverential Mahatma Mohandas Ghandhi thus:
"Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed."
I equally repeat same here and on a Final note, I leave you with the words of my name-sake and former President of the United States, Sir Franklin Roosevelt where he stated thus:
“More than just an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt (Written night before he died)
Ponder on these friends. And on this note I once again thank you for listening. Peace.