“I do believe in peace for the world,” said Mozambican President Representative, Counselor Cristovao Gemo, while reading President Filipi Nyusi’s letter of response to the peace letters he had received from youth from across the continent.
Looking around the room filled with people who shared the Counselor’s sentiment, it was easy to believe in the possibility of peace. Ministers, members and speakers of Parliament, women organisations and the general public had streamed into the main hall of Centre for the Book in Cape Town on Tuesday to participate in the 2019 World Peace Summit and 5th Anniversary of the WARP Summit celebration in South Africa.
The event, held in close to 100 countries worldwide, was to recognise successful peace efforts to date and to hear the responses from Heads of States to the thousands of peace letters that had been addressed to them by the children and youth of Africa.
In his letter President Nyusi mentioned that Mozambique was familiar with the effects of war based on their own history of conflict. He expressed his belief in world peace and congratulated Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light (HWPL) and IPYG on “breeding young leaders who advocate for peace.”
“We have to achieve a conflict-free Africa,” said special guest speaker and Life Orientation teacher at Holy Cross Girls’ High School, Michelle Arendse.
Arendse’s plea was in line with the slogan of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 of achieving the Africa We Want as well as the ideal HWPL has to make peace a reality through the adaptation of the international law for peace the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).
Advocate Ashwin Trikamjee, a peace ambassador from Durban, spoke of the first time he attended the WARP Summit in South Korea. By the time he left the event, having heard the 10 articles of the DPCW, he was convinced of the possibility of world peace. In light of the recent issues of gender-based violence and xenophobia in South Africa, Trikamjee raised the question of why violence seemed to be the only solution.
“There is no human being who is not born with peace in his heart,” he said, “All of us – human beings – are one.”
This was proven to be true when Grade 7 pupil from Liesbeeck Primary School, Kiara Keffers, took the stage to read a letter she had addressed to President Cyril Ramaphosa. In it she urged that he sign in support of the implementation of the DPCW in South Arica so as to see an end to injustice in the country.
“Children and women should not live in fear of being physically or sexually abused. Children should not live in fear of being kidnapped, killed or trafficked around the world,” she said, “I certainly encourage you, Mr President, to wage war against the abuse of women and children by signing the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War to prevent any violence against our people.”