Message from Rev. Fred Nyabera on the International Day of Peace, 2016

If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another." - Winston Churchill

In 1981 the United Nations General Assembly met and established the International Day of Peace and in 2001, the General Assembly voted to designate the day as a time to reflect on non-violence and ceasefire.

This generation is one of the most well-off with abounding opportunities, yet more than a billion people including children still lack sufficient food. The gap between those who have and those without, continues to grow. This is  never good for peace. This year we mark the International Day of Peace with the theme ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.’

Extreme poverty is both a product of conflict and a cause. Poverty fuels frustration and hopelessness which are key instigators of conflict. When resources are limited competition for what is available is high.

Sri Lanka emerged from a 26-year civil war a little of 6 years ago. Since then it has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world with the per capita doubling while poverty rates have dropped. The end of the conflict was a key factor is stimulating growth. When a government spends less on its military, it can spend more on its people.

Poverty has far reaching dimensions and implications for the social harmony and stability of the entire global community.

The path to peace and the end of poverty is a work in progress. There is unfinished business, but the patterns show that as conflict disappears, so does poverty. We owe to all children reinvest in efforts to end poverty which is a key building block to peace.