CALENDAR OF EVENTS
I. Wina: Zambia ILC Participants Urged to Work Together
Written by Zambian Vice President Inonge Mutukwa Wina
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Distinguished guests, representatives of civil society and faith-based organizations, and distinguished ladies, gentlemen and youth: Let me, on behalf of Pillars of Peace (Zambia) welcome you all, in particular our foreign participants, to this beautiful land of Zambia. I wish you a pleasant stay in Lusaka, the capital of our beloved country.
I also would like to thank the organizers of this conference for choosing Zambia to host this unique summit, especially as peace is the key subject of discussion on our development agenda. Let me also recognize the importance of the theme of this conference, which is “Addressing the Critical Challenges of Our Time: The Role of Governments, Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations.” I am pleased to note that as you discuss peace, you have included challenges resulting from poverty, broken families, lack of values among our communities, as well as various social problems facing the youth especially, as they comprise the larger part of our population.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen: Zambia is not immune to these regional and global challenges, and, as such, these issues need an integrated leadership approach, if peace is to be addressed effectively.
I wish, therefore, to applaud the Universal Peace Federation for the role they have played in promoting peace through various peace initiatives. This is a critical time in human history, not only for Zambia alone but for all countries of the world, to come together and promote peace. There can never be a better time than now. It is also important to note that there can never be any meaningful economic, social and technological advancement among our people without peace.
As you may be aware, Zambia always has been regarded as a haven for peace, and this we continue to preach to the international community, the region and within our own country. This is why Pillars of Peace (Zambia) was formed—to be the vehicle that would ensure that Zambians are reminded about the importance of promoting, believing and sustaining peace in our nation.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen: Globally, according to the United Nations report for the past year, it has revealed that the need for peace and human rights tops the requisites for increased development throughout the world. Today Europe, Asia and Latin America are facing similar challenges to those we are going through in our region.
The ideal peaceful world for all of us is to live without conflicts and fear. We need to promote a peaceful environment that would assist in the sustainable development of our countries. No country can ever develop without peace.
Peace in some of our nations has been challenged by individuals and radical groups. At times, we all find it hard to control this trend, let alone understand its causes. The youths who are the future resource in our nations are being used to fan violence because they are vulnerable and desperate, mostly because of poverty. I wish to state here that it is important for all of us to invest appropriately in the development of our young people, who are the future of tomorrow.
We have seen some extremist tendencies crippling some of our sister nations in Africa. This should be a great source of concern for all of us, in whatever capacity, as it is a real threat to peaceful existence.
Allow me to remind each and every one of us in this forum that the family is the first school of life and existence. Education begins in the home, within the family unit; the foundational mindset and character start within the family, and a positive family foundation brings prosperity, peace and happiness into communities. We need to further the talent that God has given us in a productive manner. Our future is molded by ourselves through leadership ideals.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen: As leaders of various organizations and institutions who really care for the future of our nations, we have the responsibility to direct and shape our young people to strive for excellence. Our nations can become nations that others will want to emulate if we put peace at the center of our daily lives. Currently we find ourselves at the crossroads; the bright future of nations depends on us making the right decisions and also making a difference.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen: We are happy about the Universal Peace Federation concept of “One Family under God.” We sincerely believe that the family is the building block of a nation and a very important component toward the development of our continent. Conversely, one of the critical challenges we face today is the crucial breakdown of the family unit, resulting in a wide range of social problems.
Traditional marriages and families are being challenged in a variety of ways, such as modernity, migration, displacement, urbanization, conflicts, disease, and many other vices prominent among us. These pose a great danger to the existence of the family unit. However, despite these challenges, there are men and women the world over who still aspire to build strong, loving and lasting families. Therefore, when families are strengthened, a strong base is created for social capital to flourish. This in turn enhances the overall quality of life for everyone.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen: Your presence here reflects your genuine determination to implement the various decisions to address the critical challenges of our time. Now is the time for focused action, and all stakeholders must play their role to work toward lasting peace. The civil society organizations, the private sector, traditional leaders, religious leaders, relevant resources should be availed in order for peace interventions to bear fruits.
All of us gathered here today, including other influential community advocates and traditional leaders, should jointly and objectively pursue the critical needs of our people for peace and well-being. It is time to work hand in hand with stakeholders to implement life-changing actions and help to solve social problems. It is time to promote positive attitudes that will benefit our expectant communities through the effective articulation of the key purposes of coexistence. This will have a positive impact on the lives of citizens every day.
I gladly note that one of the highlights of this seminar will be the inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP) to serve as a platform for government and civil society to work together in promoting peace and prosperity in our nations. This is a very important initiative. It is also important that we should engage our traditional leaders much more, because they are the custodians of our rural communities. I also wish to appeal to all the organizations that are focusing on peace to unite and work together so that we can magnify the impact of our work. Maybe this is the time for us to think about having an umbrella organization for peace in our country. It is also important for us to ponder on the possibility of having a regional body on peace in Southern Africa.
As Pillars of Peace (Zambia) we shall work in close partnership with our government, we will continue to support peace initiatives that will lead to the achievement of peace. We will ensure to play our greater role of advocacy in ensuring that we remind our government to uphold the global pillars of peace norms that promote:
- good governance,
- reduced corruption,
- well-functioning government,
- equitable distribution of wealth,
- human development capital,
- enhancement of people’s sustainable livelihoods.
My appeal to you is that this peace intervention should not end at this meeting. We call for all stakeholders to be involved in the implementation of the outcomes of this conference and promote peace.
I challenge the members of Parliament, civil society, the corporate sector and faith-based organizations, traditional and religious leaders, to get involved in this intervention. We should all walk the talk.
Allow me to commend the president of our republic, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for putting peace at the center stage during the pre- and post-election periods. Pillars of Peace (Zambia) also would like to commend His Excellency for setting up a commission of inquiry that would look into the causes of the violence that our country witnessed during the 2016 general elections and in the pre- and post-election periods. He provided the leadership that helped our country to stand firm and retain our country’s glory of Zambia—“as a peaceful nation.”
Finally, I am most delighted to note that participants have been drawn from all over Africa to share challenges and successes. As lawmakers who are a critical group of leaders in all nations, you have the mandate to speak for the people. Remember that God will hold all of us, as leaders, accountable for the well-being of His beloved creation: humankind. As we interact, ensure that you influence each other positively toward lasting peace. We sincerely hope that the association will achieve its objective of courting our members of Parliament, because they are an important resource to strengthen peace. We also hope that we shall all endeavor to apply the resolutions of this conference in our respective leadership roles.
With these remarks I wish to declare this leadership conference officially opened.
I wish you all fruitful deliberations. God bless you all. Thank you.
Evelyn Manda delivered a message on behalf of Zambian Vice President Inonge Mutukwa Wina at the opening session of the International Leadership Conference in Zambia 2016.
Report on the Parliamentarians Association Launched in Zambia