United Nations POLAC Foundation organised a one day programme in Commemoration of the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace/Appointment of Peace Advocate and Award recently in Lagos.
The event brought dignitaries within and outside the country to deliberate on the theme: “I Contribute, You Contribute, We Contribute”.
Delivering a keynote address on “Discover Better: I Contribute, You Contribute, We Contribute”, Prof. Adesanya-Davies, the International Director and Country President of UN-POLAC Foundation said that the peace advocates were concerned and resilient at solving insurgency, insecurity and peace-related problems through advocacy.
According to her, the foundation’s mandate is to enhance effectiveness of the UN Millennium Development Goals and UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme particularly the maintenance of peace and security and the restoration of human dignity.
“We must pray and pay very urgent attention to the situation of peace in Nigeria, Africa and even in the world. This is imperative now in Nigeria, Africa and the entire world, by the government, families, schools and public places.”.
According to her, “We should in this day of multilateralism stop all policies and politics of self, selfishness and sectionalism, ” Adesanya Davies said.
The Country President called Nigerians to shun false teaching, domineering spirit and human slavery and promote sanctity of human’s life and respect for human dignity.”
“Let’s make the world a better place through love and sharing. Love is the golden rule that you do to others as you want them to do to you.
“We must always make another person feel important and this is a must.”
Speaking on the occasion, Amb. Dr. Mrs. Cynthia Amaka Obiorah. Director Projects and Women Affairs said “Women are drivers and strategic partners of peace and sustainable development. To attain such a height of socio-economic development, true inclusivity of women needs to be at the forefront.”
“Sustainable peace is not only the absence of war. It will only be possible when there is zero-tolerance for violence in households and communities, within itcountries, and across States. Yet around the world, one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or abused in some way. Violence against women is, therefore, a major threat to sustainable peace. It compromises and threatens the health, dignity, security, and autonomy of women and girls.
According to her,”Sustainable peace will only be possible if there is equal participation of all citizens—women, and men – in the public life of their country and community. Equal representation provides a strong foundation for the development of sustainable peace. To do this, we need to eliminate discriminatory laws against women and pass legislation that advances gender equality.”
She maintained that we need Peace Advocates and change-makers like Mary Slessor, Queen Amina of Zaria, Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Mother Theresa, and hosts others.
“Mary Slessor-Christian missionary work in Africa; notable for her intangible contribution to the advancement of women’s rights and rescuing children. Famous for starting the movement beginning in 1885 that stopped the killing of twins.
“Queen Amina of Zaria – Commonly known as the warrior queen, was the first woman to become the Sarauniya (queen) in a male-dominated society during her reign between 1576 to 1610 and initiated the cultivation of kola nuts
“Chief Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti – was a Nigerian educator, political campaigner, suffragist, and women’s rights activist.
“Queen Moremi was a courageous queen who is fabled to have contributed to the deliverance of the Yoruba tribe from oppression. At a time in ancient Yoruba land, the people of Ile-Ife people were enslaved by a neighbouring tribe called the Ìgbò (forest)
“Florence Nightingale, was an English social reformer, statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.
“Mother Theresa – was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor, caring for the destitute and dying in the slums of Calcutta . Considered one of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarians, she was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.
Also Speaking, Director General, UN POLAC, Prof Obong Eton called for formidable force among advocates of peace in promoting the course of peace against all odds,while urging them to make the foundation more effective and efficient
Several eminent Nigerians were presented various awards including Apostle of Peace Award, Mayor of Peace, Mary Slessor Peace Award, Grand Commander of Peace, Officer of Peace, Distinguished Peace Advocate, Monarch of Peace, Evangelist For World Peace among others.