By Isaac Aregbesola
Abuja – The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has canvassed for a society where justice and equity reigns as the world marked 70th anniversary of UN Peace Day.
She made the appeal on Friday in Abuja at the 2018 UN Peace Day celebration organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR).
She was represented by a former Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mrs Pauline Tallen.
She described this year’s theme, “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Right at 70’’, as apt in the light of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.
According to her, peace is only possible when there is equal access to justice.
“’Peace is feasible only when we promote peace and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels,” she said.
The UNESCO Regional Director, Ydo Yao, who represented the Director-General of UNESCO, Audray Azoulay, noted that peace would remain elusive as long as cases of human rights violations still persist.
“There will be no peace on this planet as long as human rights are violated somewhere in the world.”
Axoulay explained that on this International Day of Peace, the words of René Cassin, one of the architects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, remind us that “peace will remain an unattainable ideal as long as fundamental human rights are not respected’’.
She said that respect for the fundamental human rights was a prerequisite for a peaceful society, in which everyone can fully enjoy equal and inalienable rights.
“Peace is imperfect and fragile unless everyone benefits from it; human rights are either universal or they are not.
“This intrinsic link between peace and respect for human rights is the theme of this year’s International Day of Peace, as this year we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The ideals of peace and universal rights are challenged and violated on a daily basis,” she said.
The Royal Father of the Day, Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman, the Emir of Bade, Yobe State, said there was need for a role for traditional institutions in enthroning lasting peace in the country.
“I appeal to the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and her partners to consider the role of the traditional rulers as consequential to the recovery of peace and sustainable rulers in the country on conflict resolution.
“On daily basis we resolve many conflicts in our respective domains to ensure orderliness.
“I therefore urge the Federal Government to provide IPCR funds for the training of royal father’s in mediation and conflict resolution.
“We shall do our best as royal father’s to ensure peaceful coexistence among the people of the country,” he said.
The Acting Director-General of IPCR, Dr Bakut Bakut, had earlier said the institute had in pursuance of peace in Nigeria and beyond, established National Peace Academy, with the hope to produce peace advocates throughout the country.
Bakut said that the importance of peace in any given society could not be overemphasised, noting this underscored the fact that peace is necessary condition for any development to take place.
He called on political leaders and their followers to pursue peace at all cost as the nation moved closer to 2019 elections.