14 Jan

MESSENGERS OF PEACE

first_imgThe irony of ongoing global events never ceases to amaze me. Over seventy years ago, Europe experienced mass emigration of refugees as a result of the Second World War to United Kingdom and the North America. In 2015, there is a reversal of events, rather than have people leave Europe, the entire of Europe with exception of a few, is receiving refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. What is perhaps of serious irony is the role of the German Government in the refugee crisis across Europe. Historians would have records of events leading to the mass exodus of refugees and deliberate extermination of the Jews as dictated by Adolf Hitler and historians will be compiling records of events of the compassionate role of the German Chancellor-Angela Merkel in receiving almost a million refugees from war torn countries in the Middle East and Africa.While the entire world watches the emerging immigration crisis to Europe, we, as peace messengers are reminded on the roles that young people and Government have to play in ensuring sustainable peace and security. This reminder dove tails the recent Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security adopted in Amman-Jordan by over 500 youth leaders across the globe, August 22, 2015. It also resonates with the theme for this year’s International Day of Peace: “Partnership for Peace-Dignity for All”.In the scheme of events and amidst the tragic refugee situation, we see the need for new approaches to peace building and security as young people continue to constitute the affected majority, not only in their direct involvement but they are also indirectly disproportionately victims of violence, conflicts and xenophobia, in all its forms.According to the UNFPA Executive Director, -Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, “it is time to acknowledge that the vast majority of young people does not engage in violence, even in conflict settings” Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia is of the believe that young people can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. In the words of Dr. Osotimehin, “Young people-can and must be peace builders”It is based on this foundation, that the Executive Director of MOP-Liberia along with hundreds of other young peace builders across the globe gathered in Amman-Jordon to support the guiding principles on young people and agree on the Amman Youth Declaration on youth, peace and security which calls on government and non-government organizations, associations, and agencies including youth-led civil society to partner with young people to ensure the implementation of four actions points of the Amman Youth Declaration: Youth participation and leadership in issues of Peace and Security, Youth preventing violence and building peace, gender equality and young people’s socio-economic empowerment.The ongoing peace work of MOP-Liberia and other youth led organizations remain largely invisible, unrecognized and even undermined due, largely, to inadequate participatory and inclusive mechanisms as well as opportunities to partner with decision making bodies like the Liberia Peace building Office, UNMIL , UNDP, UNFPA and other international organizations.Our position on this is clear and it is to encourage policy makers and other gate keepers to develop meaningful mechanisms for youth participation in decision making processes that young people in Liberia. We are encouraged in our quest for sustainable peace in Liberia, by the material support provided by NOVAFONE and others. The role of the private sector in building peace cannot be overemphasized and we would like to use this column to advocate for peace partners that equip young people with the ability to engage constructively in civic structures.Until next week, when we come to you dialogues among peace messengers: “Partnership for Peace-Dignity for All-Part 2”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

26 Dec

DONEGAL SCHOOLS WILL BE HIT BY SNA CUTS IN SEPTEMBER – McCONALOGUE

first_imgSchools across Donegal will still be hit with special needs cuts from September after Fine Gael and Labour defeated a Dáil motion, tabled by Donegal Deputy Charlie McConalogue, calling for the cap on Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) to be lifted.It means that despite the government’s u-turn on cuts to resource teaching hours, a 10% reduction in SNA supports will still go ahead in September, he says.Hundreds of children with disabilities across Donegal will be affected. Deputy McConalogue, who is Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson, explained, “It is deeply disappointing that local government representatives here Donegal are standing by this reduction in SNA supports in our local schools.“The Fianna Fáil Dáil motion called on the government to lift the cap on SNAs immediately so that no child with disabilities has to suffer a reduction in support next school term. Fine Gael and Labour refused to accept this and are proceeding with an effective 10% reduction in SNAs from September.“The government made an inexcusable mistake by signing off on a 12% cut in resource teaching hours. It has now been forced into a u-turn on this mistake, which of course comes as a big relief to parents and teachers. However, this was only a partial u-turn. The Education Minister Ruairí Quinn is still persisting with undermining Special Needs Assistant supports. It’s estimated that 22,000 children with disabilities will be directly affected, including hundreds of children in Co Donegal.”Deputy McConalogue has called on the government to protect frontline education services in the upcoming Budget. “Now the Minister is talking about an increase in mainstream class sizes to cover up his mistakes on special needs cuts. But he cannot fix one mistake with another. The government faces choices in the upcoming Budget – it can do the right thing and chose to protect frontline education. Undermining our education system by increasing class sizes, reducing special needs supports and forcing the closures of small local schools is not the answer to this country’s economic difficulties. Such cuts are extremely short-sighted and will be far more damaging in the long run,” the Donegal Deputy said.DONEGAL SCHOOLS WILL BE HIT BY SNA CUTS IN SEPTEMBER – McCONALOGUE was last modified: July 2nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Charlie McConalogueSNAslast_img read more