To commemorate the International Day of Peace, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Pretoria partnered with UN Volunteers and the African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) to educate learners on peace and its link to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The day began at Curro Independent School in Roodeplaat where primary school learners were informed and quizzed about their knowledge of the UN and what peace means to them with many saying that peace “is to not fight and to find solutions to conflicts.”
The Day’s theme for 2016 was “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” Zeenat Abdool, UNIC National Information Officer introduced the United Nations to media and communication students from the Boston Media House and the Tshwane University of Technology and delivered the message of the UN Secretary-General for the International Day of Peace, which invites everyone to be Sustainable Development Advocates.
She also unpacked the Sustainable Development Goals which are the key development drivers of the new fifteen-year global growth and development agenda.
The students then actively engaged with Ambrose Toolit, Programme Officer at the UN Volunteers Field Unit in South Africa and Kwezi Mngqibisa, the Coordinator of the Somalia Initiative at ACCORD, on what it means to be a peacekeeper and to support peacekeeping missions on the African continent. Mr Toolit emphasized the need for the contribution of youth to promote peace in the world.
“It is imperative for young people to play a pivotal role encouraging peace,” he said. From this interaction, media students at both universities are being encouraged to write an article on peace building and the role of media in peacekeeping which will be featured in the Pretoria News newspaper.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.