By Lincoln G. Peters
Twenty-three graduates of the International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA) have vowed to uphold the messages of peaceful election and coexistence, saying they can’t afford to see Liberia return to chaos.
According to the graduating class of 2023/2024, Liberia has tasted war, therefore, they can’t sit and watch the country Liberia return to its ugly past that claimed the lives of many.
The graduating class vowed to ensure that the “Peace Begins with Me” campaign is elevated and spread to all Liberians. The initiative seeks to protect Liberia and global peace.
IAWPA graduated over twenty-three Liberians as eminent peace ambassadors. Peace advocates awards were also presented, while some were appointed as eminent peace ambassadors.
The graduation comes following an intensive year of training in conflict mitigation, peaceful elections, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
During the ceremony on Saturday, 26 August 2023 in Monrovia, political parties, religious leaders as well and representatives of the National Elections Commission, graced the graduation and award presentation of IAWPA.
Following the program, IAWPA also presented and unveiled the “Peace Begins with Me” campaign in Liberia, an initiative of the United Nations Peace-Keepers 2023.
The Peace Begins with Me campaign recognizes the service and sacrifice of United Nations peacekeepers, past and present, and the resilience of the communities they serve.
Around the world, millions of people are suffering immense harm from conflict. Their lives are torn apart by death, destruction, and displacement.
For 75 years, more than two million peacekeepers have worked to save and change lives in the world’s most fragile political and security situations.
They are ordinary people working in difficult and dangerous conditions to help secure sustainable peace and progress – inspiring all to take action for peace.
IAWPA is an International Civil Society Organization operating as a non-profit making entity with a global mandate to promote peace and appoint Credible Personalities whose lifestyles are anchored in promoting Peace as Eminent Peace Ambassadors across the 193 member states of the United Nations.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating class, Amb. Prof. Momo Gborkow Kollie Douwee indicated that they are excited about the initiative and to be selected as ambassadors of peace.
“With the program ‘Peace begins with me,’ I want to say peace begins with us. With that I want everyone to know that peace is cheaper than war, enjoy it,” he said.
“We assure you that we shall keep and uphold the five peace actions. We will seek peace in ourselves and others. We will reach out. Protect the environment, respect diversity.”
For his part, Amb. Pastor Samm David, Country Director, expressed excitement about the new graduates, urging them to make a significant impact on the training and teaching they have acquired.
“This is the first of its kind in Liberia and we are grateful for that. Without peace, there will be no school, hospital, or market and we will not sleep and wake up.”
Also speaking, Amb. Dr. Per Stafsen, World Peace President, said that he is grateful for the preparedness of all the graduates, adding that they are now Ambassadors of peace.
“I want to thank the country director for promoting the aims of our organization in Liberia. We are in Liberia for the first time to kick start the ‘Peace begins with me. We can’t achieve the UN’s sustainable Goal without peace. And so, I want you to know that this is the time of promoting peace,” he noted.