People from all walks of life including Political party leaders, members of different parties and business people gathered at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe on Friday to commemorate this year’s International Day of Peace.
As it has been the case in the previous years, the commemoration started with a big walk from Lilongwe Town Hall via the Kamuzu Procession Road to Civo Stadium.
Speaking at Civo Stadium, Vice President of Republic of Malawi His Excellence Dr. Saulos Chilima said the observance of the International Day of Peace provided a valuable opportunity for Malawians to assess progress in the school of peace, and to resolve to do more.
The Vice President continued with reminding Malawians that in the technology and global development, peace is still a fragile dove. “Peace is a virtue and is also fragile because it comprises many elements that complement and strengthen each other. Therefore, any efforts to sustain peace must fully address the specific needs of the various elements.
.Chilima further said that as Malawians, we have a common symbol that brings us together be it at home or abroad and that’s a flag. “Flying the national flag, as we did this morning, is a sign of pride, patriotism and an affirmation of loyalty and commitment. “That is the message we have unwittingly conveyed to the world today” he said. Chilima urged Malawians to be part of the noble goal and to reject any divisive overtures that could disrupt peace and threaten the country which has always been known as God-fearing and peaceful.
Also present at the commemoration was the Chairperson of Civil Society Task Force on the Establishment of the Peace Architecture, Apostle Dr. Madalitso Mbewe who chorused Chilima’s words, saying it was exciting that in the range of collaborative peace building, Malawi was guaranteed of an uninterrupted rate of social economic and social cultural advancement. “The national flag is a symbol of Malawi being one, and that for development to thrive, there is a need to be humane to one another and to establish fellowships irrespective of diversities just for the sake of peace and development”, he said.
Mia Seppo, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative said that leaders across the political divide have a responsibility to engage in dialogue. Seppo said: “The opposition has a key role in holding government to account, whether inside or outside of government. The voice and will of Malawians that parties represent are, I believe, a call for moving the country forward. Being in opposition does not always mean opposing all initiatives of government“.
“Similarly, being in government or in leadership is about wielding power with and not over people, it is about listening and creating safe spaces for partnerships, processes and collaborative dialogue inclusive.”
This year’s commemoration marks the 34th anniversary since the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution to dedicate 21st September as a day for strengthening the ideals of peace globally and nationally. The global theme for this year was ‘partnership for peace and dignity’, but Malawi localized the theme to ‘One Malawi, one flag: Partnership for Peace and Development’.