International Peace Day marked in Bissau
18 September 2009 - "Without peace" many civilians have "little hope of improving their lives" and "escaping poverty", the Representative of the Secretary-General to Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, today underscored in Bissau. Mutaboba, who was reading out the message of the Secretary-General at a ceremony marking the International Peace Day, reminded that "most of the victims of conflict are powerless. Innocent civilians. Fathers, mothers, children. Without peace they have little hope of improving their lives. Little hope of escaping poverty."
"Combatants, warlords, arms suppliers and their sponsors continue to display a cruel disrespect for life. On this International Day of Peace, I remind all of them that there is another way. A better way. The path of peace", he added.
The message of the Secretary-General also underscored the fact that "we should be encouraged that war between nations is happening less often. Diplomacy and negotiation are becoming a more frequent choice. And even where States are torn by internal strife, history shows that peace can prevail if there is sufficient will."
Finally, quoting the Secretary-General, Mutaboba stressed that "it is a time to reflect on the horror and cost of war, and on our duty to resolve disputes peacefully".
The International Peace Day celebration was jointly organized by UNOGBIS, UNDP and the Guinea-Bissau branch of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-GB) and brought together national and international partners at a commemoration ceremony at the UN Building in Bissau.
The event was also marked by the launch of a $1.3 million project funded by Spain through UNDP and aimed at Building National Capacities for Dialogue and Collaborative Decision-Making.