Youths observe international day of peace

African Press Agency,
22 September 2008, Guinea-Bissau

The festivities marking the celebration of the 2008 edition of the International Day of Peace took place this Sunday in Bissau, under the theme "Youth says yes to peace" and in the presence of Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture representing the country’s government.

The event was organized by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), the National Youth Council, the UNDP, the Ministry of Social Communication, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau.

The event aims to promote and develop values and behaviours among people seeking peaceful solutions to the problems of the country, especially for a lasting peace in Guinea-Bissau.

The UN Secretary-General called on the international community to help stop the escalation of violence and noted that this year’s edition carried a special meaning, as it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The UN Secretary General has urged member states to set up an intergovernmental commission to consolidate peace throughout the world in each country," Ms. Zubaida Rasul, who represented the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Shola Omoregie, said.

As for the UNDP Representative in Guinea-Bissau, Ms Giuseppina Mazza, she welcomed the initiative by youths to say "yes to peace and no to war", while welcoming the government’s efforts for national reconciliation and peace throughout the country, to promote the culture of peace and genuine national reconciliation.

"Without peace, there is no way to make stride towards development and in the fight against poverty", she said, arguing that "war deprives people of their freedom".

"Peace has no price, be aware of it, and let’s not merchandise in darkness," the WANEP national representative told people who turned out to celebrate this day.

Since the war in 1998, Guinea-Bissau has been witnessing the phenomenon of violence. And today, the country’s government is seeking peace and suing for national reconciliation nationwide.