December 5-8, 2013
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Theme: “Unity in Diversity: Building Social Cohesion for Sustainable Peace through Universal Aspirations, Principles, and Values” H.E. Hajiya Namadi Amina Sambo, Founder of the I-CARE Women and Youth Initiative
FULL TRANSCRIPT: Bismiallah Al Rahman Al Raheem. International Chairman, Global Peace Foundation, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon and his admirable wife, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, His Excellency Najib Abdul Razak, ably represented by the Minister from his department, Honorable Tan Panglima, the International President Global Peace Foundation, Mr. James Flynn; Nigeria’s Ambassador to Malaysia and other Ambassadors, His Excellency Marco Vinicio Cerezo, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh.
It is my pleasure to be in this beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am very pleased to be attending the 2013 Global Peace Convention which discusses how to further enhance peace and chart a new course for the promotion of peace across the globe. The caliber of people in attendance, as well as the large number of delegates from across the parts of the world shows the globe as great and acceptability of the noble ideals of the Global Peace Foundation.
When the 2013 Global Peace Leadership conference was held in Nigeria last month I was privileged to launch the Global Peace Women Africa which was preceded by a paper, by paper presentations, and discussions by experts on the different issues concerning women. That conference brought to the fore some fundamental issues on how moral and spiritual values and standard drawn from character and interfaith development as essential for real and sustainable progress. As policy, politics, diplomacy, and economy alone cannot resolve the challenges to peace. That is why I find the theme of this convention “unity in diversity, building social cohesion for sustainable peace through universal aspirations, principles and values” very apt. I am convinced that we are on a course, all we need is to be more committed to promote and encourage social interactions among people of diverse faith and ethnicity.
This is because social cohesion has been described as the glue that binds society together promoting harmony, peace and love and commitment to promoting the common good. It is believed that social cohesion is the basic prerequisite for any society. To quote Albert Camus “Peace is the only battle worth waging.” Since the world has become a global village we need a common goal, bond to hold together and it is where the issues of universal aspirations, principles and values stated in this team of this convention come together. We can build social cohesion through the family, community and the positive use of cultural and faith values.
Nigeria has always been proud of its diversity and has the same slogan as this convention, unity in diversity. Even though we have challenges we have been striving to overcome them. A lot has been achieved in uniting the nation for peace and tranquility. Apart from international efforts Nigeria has also been in the forefront in peace missions across the world especially in Africa and the West African sub region in particular. Our first lady Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan has done a lot in promoting peace in Africa by using her office and her position as the President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission to champion the cause.
Just like any other nongovernmental organizations the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, with my humble self as the grand patron, is also working tirelessly for peace and unity through interfaith dialogue and promoting One Family under God Campaign. I hope and I pray that this will lead to us solving the problems of religious differences, ethnicity and cultural diversities in our community.
As part of my efforts to promote the above ideals my NGO I-Care-Women and Youth Initiative has been carving out advocacy on girl-child education, conducting conferences and workshops on maternal mortality and infant mortality reduction and also raising awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention, especially in the rural areas. We are also actively involved in empowering women and youths who are most vulnerable in every crisis situation, to make them self-sustaining and save them from crisis entrepreneurs.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, if every nation tries to build a social cohesion with the aim of having a sustainable peace using its peculiar situation, the much needed peace will be achieved worldwide. I would like to quote from the Holy Quran a Sura Al-Hujurat, Verse 13 (Arabic recitation of Surah). I would like to translate this surah. It states “Allah called on us, all you mankind; he was talking to all of us, all mankind. He says I have created you from single pair of male and female and I have divided you into nations and tribes so that you may understand each other. But the most pious and righteous among you is the one I knew and he is the Noah and the greatest.” This surah inspired me to be part of Global Peace Foundation. And that slogan “One Family under God” clearly signifies that as human beings we are all sisters and brothers and we are supposed to live in harmony.
I believe if we come together with our multi- religious values, our cultural values, our different lingual languages and we discuss our differences and we understand our religion, our different faith and then we respect each other, we tolerate each other and give the respect to our values. I hope and I think the world will be a better place to live in.
Vijaya Pandit once said,” The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war.” As we converge today in Malaysia to discuss and advocate for peace, the great icon of peace and freedom, the pride of Africa, father of tolerance and forgiveness, Madiba, Dr. Mandela has passed on. He is a strong believer of unity in diversity. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Thanks Mr. Flynn for the one minute of silence.
Coming to Malaysia from all of the continents of the world to discuss these issues on the different subthemes and sessions is surely a right step in the right direction. I am sure that the outcome will serve as guides and road maps to achieving the theme. While expressing my happiness to be part of this effort, to contribute to a new world social order, I want to commend the international chairman, the founder of the Global Peace Foundation, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon for the foresight and commitment towards peace. I would like to equally appreciate the Global Peace Foundation Malaysia for hosting this convention and for their warm hospitality. I am sure all the delegates will go home with the high spirit of commitment to make the world a better place for all to live in. I wish you all fruitful deliberations as we settle down for the business at concurrent sessions. I thank you most sincerely for listening. Assalamu Alaykum.