On May 25th, hundreds of youth and representatives of civil society gathered in Harare, Zimbabwe to raise awareness for the need to achieve a conflict-free Africa through a peace walk.
The event was jointly hosted by an international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL), its affiliated group, the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), Junior Chambers International Zimbabwe (JCI), and Zimbabwe United Nations Association (ZUNA), which is joined by scores of hopeful youth who came to invest in the work of peace.
The peace walk formed part of the 5th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace which has been carried out in 100 cities in 50 countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania, South Korea, UK, the U.S, India, and China. This global movement is aimed to promote a culture of peace based on the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
HWPL, a Non-Governmental Organization affiliated with UN ECOSOC, had the first “Declaration of World Peace” in 2013 to call for all members of society to work together as peace messengers. The Chairman of HWPL, Mr. Man Hee Lee, has highlighted that every person in every country is responsible for establishing world peace.
“Rather than waiting to take peace for granted, it is we who should put an end to all wars to protect humanity and our world and leave peace as a legacy for future generations. Since laws of today cannot compensate for the lives sacrificed in war, what we need is an instrument that protects human life, a law that prevents war.”
The peace walk began at Harare Town House with Harare City Mayor, His Worship Cllr. Bernard Manyenyeni, giving an address. He encouraged the youth saying.“We are encouraged to see young people, an investment which Zimbabwe and Africa need towards the cessation of war. Africa needs stability; it needs peace to catch up for its many years of underdevelopment and to catch up with the rest of the world.”
Witnessing the impact of the walk on the city, His Worship noted the importance of investing in peace, adding that it is not only having a direct impact on the city itself but on the minds of the people. “Peace is an investment that we must all strive to get. When these things set in the minds of young people, it is an investment we can bank on,” he shared.
ZUNA’s Programs Director, Brighton Musevenzo promoted Africa’s aspirations in achieving peaceful transformations which are crystallized by the DPCW.“Africa has been facing challenges because of its diversity which is causing conflict, therefore having young people like IPYG, JCI, and ZUNA coming together is something we need when we want to achieve the world we want by 2030.”
The HWPL’s proposed the ‘Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW)’ embodies the value of the ‘Declaration of World Peace’. The DPCW consisting of 10 articles and 38 clauses addresses principles of conflict resolution and international cooperation for peacebuilding such as respect on the international law, peaceful dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace.
Civil society throughout the world is carrying out peace education, peace culture projects, and ‘Legislate Peace Campaign’ to establish a legally binding international law for peace and to create a peaceful environment in the society in cooperation with HWPL.