Peace Advocates is defined as those trained to strongly influence and shape change in their communities and countries by using the skills of collaborative conversation, purposefully listening and purposeful speaking to enumerate complicated crisis tendencies rearing up its ugly head in the society. This was made known by Hon. Peter C. Ohagwu, DCP UN-POLAC on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace Advocates Awards organised by UN-POLAC Foundation recently in Lagos.
According to him, “definition of Peace advocate is any Policy that advocates maintaining of peaceful international relations, of any political orientation favouring compromise to avoid conflict.”
Hon. Peter maintained that a peace advocate is a Peace activist like Mahatine Gandi of India, who actively opposed war, promoted peace and campaigned for nuclear disarmament. People who are ready to sacrifice their time for the pursuit of peaceful atmosphere for a free crisis society.”
He stressed that the Peace Ambassadors are not just to receive award and decoration, but to add values to human rights, peace, inter-cultural dialogue and bring these values to Youth work in our various Communities through the initiatives of a Peace Ambassador.
“An ambassador will have the opportunity to further their peace building knowledge by leaving about empirical peace researches to improve his knowledge. The United Nations began using goodwill ambassadors officially to promote their missions as far back as 1954 and the first actor was Danny Kay.”
Hon. Peter who said that Ambassador for Peace have shown strong leadership qualities in their sphere of activities such as religion, politics, media, academia, business, the arts, civil society and affirm UPF’s vision and principles of peace, also said they exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others.
In his words:
“POLAC believes that, to have Man of Peace, Lady of Peace and Child of Peace in every home, and to appoint qualified Ambassadors of Peace and Youth Peace Ambassadors in every community, there will be peace in Nigeria and the world over. Therefore, in collaboration with religious organizations, traditional institutions and relevant authorities of Peace, the Peace Advocates will be trained and sensitized at various levels on peace and conflict resolution towards attaining peaceful coexistence.”
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.
In her Contribution, Mrs Patricia Agu, Secretary General UN POLAC said the vision for UN-POLAC is to become the leading non-political-religious and non-profit organization appointing peace advocates to promote and enhance peace towards positive livelihood in the society at large. And the mission is to create opportunities, encourage, and enhance peace and sustainable human development through participation of peace advocates with a view to positively impact lives in order to make the world a better place for us to live in.