Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. This day offers an opportunity to pause, reflect and consider how best to break the vicious cycle of violence that conflict creates.
As a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples, Model United Nations Volunteers Network(MUN-VoN) commemorated the 2015 International Day of Peace with a Peace Education and Capacity Building Outreach with Secondary School Students in the City of Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria.
This year’s commemoration with the theme “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” was aimed at highlighting the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace and this heightened the need to commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace. While setting the tone for the Outreach, Adeyemi David, a Member of the Network introduced to the students the United Nations(UN), it's International Observance Days and the historical background behind the commemoration of the International Peace Day. He noted that the first Peace Day was observed in September 1982.
Using classroom-based approaches, the Model United Nations Volunteers Network members (MUN-VoN) engaged the students in informal sessions, with deliberations on various topics such as the role of the United Nations in Peace Building, Violent Extremism and Culture of Peace as well as Relationship between Peace and Sustainable Development. They were sensitized on the various roles young people can play as active contributors to the realization of the Global Goals which is the fulcrum upon which the activities and actions of MUN-VON is based and the various ways they can contribute to the development of the community through peacemaking. The students were made to understand that regardless of our cultural and religious differences, we must maintain peace with one another for the betterment of our nation.
With speaking to the students during the session on the Culture of Peace, the Co-founder of the Network, Prince Olanrewaju Gideon noted that "to achieve peace in the society is not a function of individualistic effort but rather a product of unified actions". Hence, it's only through partnerships and collaboration that peace and sustainable development can be achieved in the society.
A Fellow of the Generational Change Program of the United States Institute of Peace, Miss. Victoria Ibiwoye who spoke to the students on Peace and Sustainable Development stressed out that for development strides to be continuous and progressive, the community must develop a way of life that is perfectly tailored with the fabrics of peace as Peace is not just absence of violence but a culture. She pointed out that maintain Peace and Order gives room for communal harmony which is central and critical to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
The beneficiaries of the Outreach were God's Glory International Schools and Ade Royal Group of Schools, Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria.
This report was compiled by Olanrewaju Gideon O, Co-founder, Model United Nations Volunteer Network (MUN-VoN).