Windhoek, 16 May 2018 – The United Nations (UN) System in Namibia in collaboration with the Embassy of Algeria and the Government of the Republic of Namibia (GRN) commemorated the first International Day for Living Together in Peace at the UN House in Windhoek. Together with the diplomatic corps, non-governmental organisations, civil society, community leaders and interfaith representatives, the day drew attention to:
• Promoting peace as a prerequisite for integration, sustainable development and social progression and; • Integrating a culture of peace in public dialogues at local and international levels.
Peace has been engrained in the UN’s mission as well as its Charter, various resolutions and more recently, through the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which Namibia has agreed to and localised.
The acting UN Resident Coordinator a.i, Dennia Gayle highlighted Namibia’s commitment to peace, “National and international development agendas are clear – we must promote societies where all people can live in a peaceful and united way. With a foundation of listening to, respecting and appreciating each other, we can celebrate our differences and use them to bring about the changes we want to see.”
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 72/130 on 8 December 2018 to declare 16 May the International Day for living together in Peace. The declaration recognises the importance of the Declaration and Programme of Action on Culture and Peace. It also emphasises the importance of the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence for the benefit of humanity and future generations.
The Ambassador of Algeria to Namibia, H.E. Sid Ali Abdelbari highlighted the importance of the UN Resolution for the International Day of Living Together in Peace, which was tabled by his country at the General Assembly. He said, “We need to ensure social justice and the fair share of prosperity across the socio-economic aspects of society, which is one of the key elements to make peace prevail.”
To ensure peace and harmony in Namibia, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon. Sylvia Makgone on behalf of the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said, “Our international and local efforts should hence be premised at ensuring peace and security based upon development and the eradication of poverty as expressed in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and indeed our National Development Plans, which aim to build a house where no one is left behind.”
The day was observed for the first time in Namibia and recognises the need to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. Furthermore, it promotes reconciliation to help ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.