The whole world is currently in disarray and it appears as if the word “peace” is far from the world’s dictionary. From Africa to Asia to the middle East and all over the rest of the world, there is invariably no place without crisis.
People are being killed in war zones, land dispute here and there while other nations are crying for secession.
Could this be the end of the world or the manifestation of the end time as most religious bodies have postulated? Journey with me in this article as we look into the concepts that resonate round peace and why it is everyone’s business.
Often, people regard to the word “PEACE” as being relative. The assumption is that what an individual calls and sees as peace might have a different meaning to other person(s). That might be true, anyways.
However, the concept of peace is a societal friendship and coordination devoid of hostility and violence . In a social nous, peace implies being free from the fear that comes as a result of war, crisis, conflicts and it equally means freedom from fear of violence between people, communities, nations or groups.
Peace-building as a process
There is nothing truer than what the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan while speaking at the International Conference to promote resolution of the conflict in the Basque Country, co-sponsored by Conciliation Resources in 2011 maintained that “Making peace ultimately requires the firm commitment and extraordinary courage, on the part of all sides, to ensure a permanent end to violence”.
Building a peaceful coexistence as individual, group or community doesn’t just come in a day. It takes a process, and the process is what is referred to as peace-building process.
Peace-building aims at addressing the underlying causes of conflict, seeks to help people resolves their differences in peace and lay the foundations to guide against future violence eruption.
Peace-building process as a concept, involves a long-term progression that encourages people to dialogue, thereby repairing relationships, and reforming bodies and structures.
It deals with investigating the root cause of conflict at a place or among individuals in a bid to find a lasting solution to such crisis. It has to do with having an in-depth knowledge of why warring zone had engaged in the act in the first place.
It is not gain saying that to have a sustainable peace peace-building process, it must comprise of all relevant stakeholders i.e. everyone affected by a destructive conflict, those who felt cheated or marginalised and so on.
Causes of conflicts
Several things are responsible for conflicts ranging from those perceived to be minor to the ones that are so serious. However, most conflicts start mildly before escalating.
Notable among the causes of conflict includes: poor leadership, disagreement over land and properties, lack of honesty and openness, lack of clarity about accountability, poor performance, injustice, nepotism, unequalled sharing of resources and so on.
Effects of conflicts on:
Conflicts generally pose a huge threat to human health, the health care system, and wellness. Conflicts, war, breakdown of law and order doesn’t spear human health and the aftermath is not always a desirable one.
It subjects people to a lot of hardship, make them susceptible to opportunistic diseases, causes displacement and increases the rate of infectious diseases.
The people’s health suffers whenever there is outbreak of law and it can even result to lose of life and properties.
A wretched Aeroplane
The economy cannot thrive whenever there is crisis. Businesses fold up and limit productivity.
The agricultural sector always has it share whenever there is crisis. Farmers won’t be able to go the farmer, their inputs will be reduced and this often result to famine in the land.
There can’t be any reasonable progress in this sector when peace is missing. As important as education is, the absence of peace crumbles the educational process. The impact of conflict on educational activities and other sectors is so much that everyone should be part of peace-building process.
How Peace-Building is our collective responsibility?
Most times, people assume and feel cool whenever their own region or area is peaceful, and that make them pay less attention to that of others. The truth is that, peace, peace building and everything fosters peace is and should be everyone’s business.
Taking a cue from the Yoruba adage “The King who ushered in peace, won’t be forgotten; the one who brought in chaos won’t be forgotten, as well.” The moral lesson here is that we all should be mindful of our legacy and know that every bit of our input in peaceful coexistence goes a long way.
Peaceful coexistence among people is priceless!
Ayodeji Amos OLADIMEJI