‘Peace can only thrive in places where equality is’

Seini Vulavou, Akesa Rai and Joy Smith during the International Day of Peace workshop at Albert Park in Suva on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Picture: MERI RADINIBARAVI

Peace can only thrive in places where is equality, respect for human rights and where one can boldly speak out against hate speech, says Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) CEO Louchrisha Hussain.

Speaking during the opening of an International Day of Peace workshop at Albert Park yesterday, she said the theme for this year’s celebration — “End Racism Build Peace” — was fitting for Fiji.

“The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is fitting for Fiji because we continue to see issues arising in our local communities, various sectors, media platforms and social platforms that relate to racism and racial discrimination,” Ms Hussain told youth participants.

“The promotion and protection of human rights is a contributing factor to establishing peace and peace can only thrive in places where there is equality, respect for human rights, where people boldly speak out against hate speech both online and offline and in many other forms.

“Because Fiji is made up of multiracial and ethnically diverse communities, we must learn to work together in building and promoting peace and this can and must start in our own homes.”

She said International Day of Peace commemoration were usually done outside of Suva but “because we’ve just come out of COVID-19 at the end of last year, we thought that we’d start again in Suva this year and then we’ll carry out our mandate around the country”.

“We are trying to spread the message of everyone playing a role in establishing peace in their own homes and their communities.

“Some of them (participants) have been part of our previous workshops and we like to keep them going through the workshops.”

The half-day workshop included youth participants from Wailea settlement in Vatuwaqa, Nanuku settlement in Vatuwaqa and Jittu Estate, Suva.

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