Sunday 21 July, 2019

VPA urges Jamaicans to be a part of the solution on Int’l Peace Day

The Violence Prevention Alliance (VPA) is urging all Jamaicans to be part of the solution in preventing crime and violence as the first steps to claiming peace.

The Alliance made the appeal in recognition of International Peace Day, which is being observed Friday, September 21 under the theme The Right to Peace!”.

Dr. Elizabeth Ward, chair of the VPA said that everyone should adopt a non-violent approach to problem solving. “Report crimes and potential crimes to the authorities,” she said.

Bemoaning the increasing number of children murdered since the start of the year, Dr. Ward said that it is clear that more action is required to achieve the goal of peace.

“We are failing to protect the most vulnerable among us, our children.Our children have a right to peace. We cannot continue to shield the perpetrator(s) of these heinous crimes against our children,” she stressed.

“It is time for us to speak out and provide the information to the security forces so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice thereby, sending a strong message that the murdering of our children will not be tolerated,” she added.

Meanwhile, in observation of International Peace Day, the VPA and its partner, the Manchester Peace Coalition commenced a week of activities, with a church service on Sunday, September 16; a panel discussion held on Wednesday, September 19 under the theme, “The Right to Peace and the Way Forward”.

There will be a peace vigil, candle lighting and counseling on Friday, September 21 at Mandeville Greens in Manchester, starting at 8:00 p.m. Rounding out the week will be a Peace Game at Brooks Park in Mandevilleand, a  Peace Concert at Mandeville Greens on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Clifton Reid, chair of the Manchester Peace Coalition said the week of activities provided  an opportunity for persons to engage in peace building activities.

“The observation of International Peace Day and by extension the week assists in the promotion of ideas of peace, love and unity, which is very important in the current climate of violence and anger. It also provides the opportunity for persons to learn that we are more alike than different and for the survival of our society, peace is necessary,” he explained.

Dr. Ward appealed for all Jamaicans to respect the rights of others regardless of who they are and to, uphold the rights of others even when not in agreement.

“When anyone’s human rights are denied, everyone’s rights are undermined. So stand up; raise your voice, take action and use your rights to stand up for yourself and others, especially for the right for peace,” she said.

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