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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

UN chief touts peaceful world

THE UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon has called on governments and other partners to build a world of peace and tolerance, to rescue young people from the forces of extremism. 

UN Habitat Country Manager Mr Philemon Mutashubirwa read the UN Secretary General’s message at Karimjee Hall on Tuesday to commemorate the International Day of Peace. 

The message notes that this year’s Peace Day is dedicated to young people and this month marks the beginning of the International Year of Youth. “Young people should join us, help us to work for peace. You are impatient. 

You see what we, your elders, allow to persist, year after year: poverty and hunger; injustice and impunity; environmental degradation’’, the statement noted. The UN Secretary General also called for young and old to help UN in finding solutions to the prevailing global problems so as to attain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ahead of 2015 deadline. 

Mr Jenerali Ulimwengu, who graced the UN day in Dar es Salaam, told the youths to fight for their rights and ensure peace prevailed. He said young people should reject being called ‘tomorrow’s nation,’ stressing that they were today, tomorrow and after tomorrow’s nation. 

Veteran journalist Ulimwengu challenged politicians making pledges at campaigns, saying all of them were baseless with no grain of truth. “You should build a culture of bringing development by yourselves. Forget about the politicians’ promises, they are impossible to attain,” he said. 

Earlier, the youths urged the government to establish sustainable education curricula that incorporated peace and harmony. Reading a speech on behalf of the youths, Ms Cecilia Mbuya, a student at Jangwani Secondary School, urged the government and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to help develop a syllabus that would incorporate peace right from primary school. 

“The government should improve infrastructure and other social services, include youths in policy making and implementation because they are the nation’s hope,’’ she said. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which is held annually on the third Tuesday of September. 

The First Peace Day was observed in September 1982, however in 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282 which established an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. 

Meanwhile, lack of political stability in some African countries has increased the number of refugees. The remark was made on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam by Dr Salim Ahmed Salim on the occasion of African Peace day. Dr Salim said by the end of 2009 , Africa had 3 million refugees, which is 20 per cent of 10.5 million refugees in the world. 

“Peace is the foundation of development in any country and if it vanishes the country suffers," said Dr Salim. There are 11.6 internally displaced people in Africa due to wars. According to Dr Salim, several reconciliation councils have been formed to prevent further conflicts. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Dar es Salaam Acting Regional Commissioner, Mr Said Meck Sadiq, urged residents to report immediately any threat to peace. Mr Sadiq said people have to help curb networks of criminals who could have links outside the country.

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