The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace.
The International Day of Peace was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 for ‘commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people”. This year’s commemoration is significant to Zimbabwe as it coincides with the 1st Anniversary of the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by the three political parties in Zimbabwe – ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.
The signing of the GPA on 15 September 2008 followed a wave of politically motivated violence associated with the 2008 elections. Since the February 2009 consummation of Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, the Forum has recorded a decline in cases of political violence. The Forum welcomes this development and urges the inclusive
government to put mechanisms in place that will ensure lasting peace in Zimbabwe. Although the number of cases of politically motivated violence being recorded by the Forum has decreased, it is worrying to note that the trends and patterns of this violence have remained predominantly the same. In light of this, the Forum calls upon the parties to the GPA to take positive measures to ensure compliance with provisions of the Agreement, particularly Article 18 which, among other things, commits the political parties to ensure security of persons and prevention of violence.
It is the Forum’s contention that lasting peace is not just the absence of overt violence, but also the ‘presence of justice through equal opportunity, a fair distribution of power and resources, equal protection and impartial enforcement of law’. The Forum exhorts the inclusive government to institute mechanisms that ensure accountability, truth, justice and national healing for the people of Zimbabwe. TXT 4 PEACE – To encourage even greater awareness of this important Day, the United Nations is encouraging people around the world to send text messages for peace on or before 21 September.