The World Peace Day, sometimes termed the International Day of Peace, is a day observed annually every 21st September, dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace worldwide.
It was inaugurated by the United Nations General Assembly and first commemorated in 1982 to encourage world peace by occasioning a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone to allow access for humanitarian aid. The observance over the past 35 years has been focused on various ideals that relate to peace such as a sustainable future, education, right to peace to enjoy human rights such as health and sustainable development.
The theme for International Peace Day 2017 (#IPD2017) is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.
The Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), in line with its motto is focused on working together to build a healthier future. As the theme of this year’s World Peace Day is based on the ‘TOGETHER’ global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for all forced to flee their homes, whose health are definitely at risk, ARFH is renewing its commitment to promote information and services to improving the health of these underprivileged and vulnerable communities through its fight against communicable diseases and advocacy to improve reproductive health in Nigeria and beyond.
The ‘TOGETHER campaign unites the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 Member States of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global buysoma.net partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants. It was initiated during the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016.
“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. “We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential.” He added, “Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”
This year, the International Day of Peace will focus, worldwide’ on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants. Its messages will be shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.
The Director of Programmes of ARFH, Mrs Kehinde Osinowo said: “ARFH works in all states of Nigeria and the current security situation in our communities and states is quite disheartening and affecting project outcome negatively. ARFH joins other advocates to admonish the need for us to embrace peaceful existence among ourselves despite religious, cultural and political differences”.
“We are known as one of the countries with the happiest people, we should never allow a conflict situation to fester”, she reiterated.