Year of peace

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 14:41:08 +0000

WE MUST all strive to make 2017 the year of peace in which to overcome our differences, end hunger and suffering, stop the wars raging around us, fight climate change and endeavour to bring relative prosperity to all.

This is the lofty aspiration of the United Nations as the New Year 2017 dawns.

We support the call by newly elected United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres that we must all do everything in our power to ensure the human family’s prosperity, dignity, hope and progress.

This can only be possible if we maintain peace in our households, communities, nations, regions, continents and the global village as a whole.

The present conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and other flash-points which have been internationalised by the Superpowers do not augur well for world peace. They cause massive suffering, fuel huge migrations and destroy economies of not only the affected countries but their neighbours and other weak nations as well.

These wars sparked by political differences have rendered millions homeless, especially women and children, and are a threat to world security.

As Mr Guterres says there is no winner and loser in such conflicts as billions of dollars are being spent to destroy societies and economies – a situation which only drives cycles of mistrust, hatred, fear and more conflict.

In the confusion, a few hard core fundamentalists with bizarre beliefs have joined hands to terrorise even the most powerful nations. Africa hass not been spared.

In Zambia the year 2017 must bring hope to many that the dark hour of the 2016 general election is behind us and that we shall rise above our challenges like the noble eagle as a united nation that aspires to live in peace, restore the economy and lift one another where we falter.

This a time for all leaders to bury the hatchet and work towards national unity and cohesion for the good of Zambia and its people.

Those who love their country cannot dwell on the dark stains of the past. There is so much to do.

With the army worm ravaging our maize crop in many parts of the country, the pest does not care about the political leanings of the owners of the fields it is destroying.

President Lungu yesterday called on all Members of Parliament to leave for their constituencies immediately and supervise the distribution of pesticides and control of the worm.

Those affected need their leaders to help them fight the worm and where necessary replant their fields. This job requires leadership and the ability to organise resources and experts to help the farmers.

This is part of the peace-building process because the operation against the army worm is intended to ensure continued food security which is so vital to national unity and prosperity.

As the year 2017 unfolds, it brings with it new challenges for the country and at personal level which must be tackled and put right. To succeed Zambians must join hands and realise that they have one common destiny.

Those who have a bit more must learn to share with those who have little or none. Our New Year resolutions must be centred on shared values and the will to lift one another from poverty, illness and ignorance.

There cannot be peace in a world of inequality, discrimination and bigotry. These are the causes of human conflict which we must all fight to make Zambia a better place for everyone.

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