A UN official on Thursday called for collective efforts to preserve world peace, considering its vital role in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ozonnia Ojielo, the UN resident coordinator in Rwanda, said together, people can transform the world into a place where “peace is not just a dream, but a lived reality.”
“Together, we can cultivate a world where peace prevails, and the aspirations of humanity are realized for the betterment of all, leaving no one behind,” Ojielo said during an event commemorating the International Day of Peace, which falls on Sept. 21, in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
He underlined that peace and the SDGs are intrinsically intertwined, forming the bedrock for a prosperous and harmonious world. “The fulfillment of the SDGs significantly contributes to fostering peace by addressing the underlying socioeconomic inequalities, environmental degradation, and systemic injustices that often lead to unrest and strife.”
Ojielo described peace as a seed that requires nurturing, watering and cultivation to grow into a better future for generations to come.
“We acknowledge that peace starts at home, in our communities, and within our hearts. It’s a collective endeavor, and through open dialogue and shared understanding, we can dismantle barriers to peace and construct bridges toward harmonious coexistence,” he said.
The event was preceded by officials watering the peace tree at the Rwandan Parliament. It attracted about 500 participants, including youth, members of Parliament, and officials from government and civil society entities.
Ojielo highlighted the importance of empowering young people with the necessary knowledge and tools to address the challenges hindering peace.