By Lewis S. Teh
Swedish Ambassador accredited to Liberia Urban Sjostrom says there can never be a better world to live in outside of peace, noting that peace plays a cardinal role in the transformation of any country.
Ambassador Sjostrom made the statement while addressing the fifth cycle of Messenger of Peace Annual Youth Peace Summer Camp in Bong County recently.
The Messenger of Peace-Liberia (MOP-Liberia) is a youth-led peace advocacy group based in Monrovia.
“Young peace ambassadors, let’s follow the best humanity recipe, and that is no one is above the rule of law.” I would like to say to you, peace ambassadors, colleagues, join me in a world to strive for our peace.”
The Swedish envoy describes Liberia as a progressive country for the fact that young people are moving in one accord, which shows determination, saying, “This is the message I will carry to my people when I get home.”
Also making remarks at the event, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Doe, reaffirmed the Government of Liberia’s commitment to youth development initiatives and peace-building.
Deputy Minister Doe acknowledged that peace is not only the absence of war, but it is also the responsibility of the central government to develop youth as messengers of peace.
At the same time a representative of the ECOWAS Mission in Liberia, Mr. Nathaniel Walker, said there can be no sustainable democracy if genuine peace doesn’t exist; and that is why the ECOWAS mission opens her doors to activities such as the one initiated by the Messengers of Peace-Liberia.
Mr. Walker lauded MOP-Liberia for its role with young people in peace-building across Liberia.
Lead Trainer, Facilitator, Founder and Executive Director of (MOP)–Liberia Inc., Ms. Gwendolyn Myers, called on development partners and the Government of Liberia to continuously provide partnership opportunities and access to resources for youth peace-building activities across the country.
This year’s Youth Summer Camp was held in partnership with the African Union (AU) Youth4Peace program on the theme: “Digital Technology for Peace; strengthening resilience and accelerating social impact through youth political participation.”
According to Ms. Myers, the role of digital technology in peace-building and social change cannot be overemphasized.
The camp featured five-pathway thematic areas: Youth in Politics and the Digital Media, Digital Technology for Peace, ICT in Sustainable Development: Promoting the SDGs, Digital Technology in Education & Training: Tools for 21st Century Learning and Accelerating Advocacy for Social Impact through Digital Technology, respectively.
Besides the thematic areas, over 23 work lab topics were added to enhance outcomes for life skills and learning purposes.
Gwendolyn said the camp brought together over 200 young people drawn from across all 15 political sub-divisions of Liberia. The participants were also recruited during the closing ceremony to volunteer at Messengers of Peace–Liberia and benefit from unparalleled learning and growth opportunities at the institution, while others were also selected to design community peace-building projects for implementation in various counties.