The Need for Peace for Sustainable Social Development

HWPL held a human rights webinar on December 17th under the theme, โ€œThe Need for Peace for Sustainable Social Development.โ€ About 26 people including the head of a youth NGO in Sierra Leone, journalists, religious leaders, and more attended this webinar to discuss practical ways to achieve peace in Sierra Leoneโ€™s current national reality.

Sierra Leoneโ€™s population has a high proportion of youths. In the midst of this, political polarization according to race and region led to the critical election activities of each party which have spread to bloody violence among young people. This resulted in the sacrifices of many young peopleโ€™s lives. Also, young people are living in conflict and anxiety taking harmful drugs due to unemployment and other economic problems, and engaging in violence and criminal acts that undermine the nationโ€™s safety.

Experts from various fields who attended this webinar pointed out that taking this unstable reality for granted is a problem in the present society and explained that peace education is needed to improve such problems. In order for the nation and community to develop, peace must be achieved from oneโ€™s home first because it must be enforced that peace is an essential fundamental right that everyone must deserve.

Mr. Dauda Ahmid Koroma, the Executive Director of The Needy Today Sierra Leone, suggested a specific way saying, โ€œAs an independent nation, what Sierra Leone has lacked is unity. To this end, political tolerance and unity must be provided by Sierra Leoneโ€™s leadership. All of this should be protected nobly and without question, such as embracing each otherโ€™s wounds, uniting everyone, and inclusion rather than exclusion. In order for this uniting process to not be halted, leadership looking towards peace in every region in Sierra Leone must create an exercisable culture of peace.โ€

Also, he emphasized the need to recognize the current situation through education and create an environment and culture for peace. He said, โ€œAs long as conflicts continue to recur, sustainable social development will be impossible. Families, schools, communities, and even the country, we must face the conflicts in our communities and find long-term solutions to resolve them.โ€

Mr. Reverend Joseph Lamboi, the Pastor of Church Saint Michael and All Angels Parish Baiima, said, โ€œNations without peace always spring from a state of anarchy that hinders the peaceful coexistence of its citizens. As quickly as the Sierra Leonean election period is approaching, for the citizens of Sierra Leone, especially for the peaceful coexistence of our youth, we need to build a peace community. It will improve the publicโ€™s perception about the importance of maintaining peace and harmony between fellow citizens and this education of citizens will also help maintain peace.โ€

Mr. Musa Robinson, the President of Saint Michael Youth Fellowship in Baiima Mandu, said, โ€œPeace is justice for the sustainable development of all nations. For our own personal growth and survival, practical measures must be taken to promote peace. The global community should be free from violence and abuse of human rights. Complete weapon disarmament of weapons and respect for human rights giving equal opportunities for all is needed in achieving this goal.โ€

HWPL will continue to discuss specific action plans with local experts so that what has been presented at this webinar can be realized in Sierra Leone.