By Aisha Tamba
The Gambia National Youth Council in collaboration with Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia and West Africa Network for Peace Building (Wanep) on Friday held a peace forum in commemoration of the International Peace Day at the UTG law faculty.
International Day of Peace alternatively known as Peace Day is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, the day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace among all nations and people.
The world body in 2001 adopted further resolutions establishing 21 September as an annual event to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflicts and promote peace.
On the day people around the world organise and take part in activities centred on the theme of peace. These include peace prayers, observing ceasefires and peace vigils and holding peace forums.
Speaking at the Friday forum, ASP Lamin Badjie of the Gambia Police Force, said: “For a long time, police departments in the world operated under what is generally referred to as a professional model of policing. Under this model, local police departments were organised around strict hierarchical lines, utilised standardised operational protocol and emphasised on professionalism did not, however, diminish social disorder as crime rates have not waned.”
He said the authorities began to re-examine the role of police departments in public safety management and craft new reform that would reduce crime through improved relationship and direct partnerships between the community and the police.
“These efforts have centred on a new philosophy of law enforcement known as community policing,” he said.
Yankuba Manjang, executive secretary of Peace Ambassadors said “the human rights of our country’s men and women and those of other nations are threatened, delayed and sometimes denied, and this affects their peace.”
He opined that the perpetuation of violent conflicts is the biggest hindrance to achieving peace in the world today.
“Despite these, we as an organization, are working towards the maintenance peace, through non-violent means and approaches.”
The theme of of this year’s commemoration is seek to achieve tolerance and peaceful coexistence of all Gambians and non-Gambians irrespective of religious differences; to build a cordial relationship between the security forces and youths and promoting inter-party dialogue to ensure adequate sharing of information in order to prevent political imbroglios.