Oct 15, 2008, 7:47 AM
Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia, an international organization focusing on youth and peace, Saturday observed its 13th anniversary on the theme, “Peace education is essential in what we do”, at the Gambia Collage Campus in Brikama.
Peace Ambassadors was established in The Gambia on 17 May 2001 and the organization has been functioning in all the administrative regions of the country.
This year’s celebration was organised in a form of symposium with speakers drawn from the Gambia Police Force, National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDEA) and the Financial Intelligence Unit.
In his statement, the chairperson, Coastal Zone, Omar Saidykhan, gave a brief background of the organisation saying: “Our objectives, vision and mission hope to lift the society from violence and trouble into a future where peace and development are at the center.”
The organization was conceived based on the realization that today’s generation of young people lives in the absence of peace bearing the consequences on their minds and bodies, he added
He said it remains a global concern and has generated the need for peace building and maintenance to be given concerted attention and efforts.
Peace (the tranquil state of mind) must be secured and nurtured to promote sustainable socio-economic and development.
Generally, he added, lack of peace and its effects are not given in-depth study and analysis, and this often results in ignorance and limited collective global action to create a sustainable peaceful environment for humanity.
“This is a major issue for Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia which focuses on the development of the human mind and believes that once people understand global problems, have healthier living conditions and have skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by the standards of human rights and equity, appreciate culture diversity and respect for each other, human survival and development will be guaranteed,” he stated.
PAG believes that such learning could only be achieved through systematic education for peace and stability, which forms the hub to the establishment of this organization, he said.
Aware of global changing nature of peace work and task that the organization has set for itself, the name Youth Ambassadors for Peace has had to be changed to Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia, he stated.
He further stated that the move has given the organization a wider scope and made it better positioned to deal with the increasing demands for support that could not be covered during its 13 years of existence.
“The Organization is committed to sustain as a vibrant institution of hope and bring about serious commitment and action in peace work in the country and where possible beyond, to achieve the set mission, aims and objectives,” he remarked.
Police Commissioner Mamur Jobe dilated on the impact of crime in society, saying the topic Peace Ambassadors-the Gambia chose to mark their anniversary was apt, relevant and laudable and it augured well with the overall objective of the police and policing in The Gambia.
“The impacts of crime on our society are many and pose serious challenges on the various arms of government ranging from what conduct to criminalize or decriminalize (parliament), what types of sentence to impose on convicts (judiciary) and how should law be enforced considering the complex nature of some crimes or how to control or contain the increasing rate of crime (executive),” said Police Commissioner Jobe.
However, he said, it is worth noted that the youth of today being the cream of the society form 90% of those involved in perpetrating crimes, ranging from summary offences to most serious ones.
“It’s therefore incumbent on all of us as good citizens to ensure that the law is upheld at all times, that security personnel in its context should not be left alone with responsibilities,” said commissioner Jobe.
Speakers on the occasion included the representatives of the National Drug Enforcement Agency and the Director of Financial Intelligence Unit.