Message by the World Organization of the Scout Movement Presented by Nelson Opany on the Occasion of the International Day of Peace Celebrations in Nairobi, Kenya on 21 September 2015

Your Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, The Governor of Nairobi County, Cabinet Secretaries Present, Invited Guests, Fellow Scouts & Messengers of Peace, Ladies and Gentlemen;

Receive greetings of peace, love and unity from the Scouts of Kenya and the rest of Africa. It is a great pleasure to join you all as we commemorate this year’s International Day of Peace.

Essence of the International Day of Peace

Established in 1981 and observed globally on 21 September every year, the International Day of Peace is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

This year’s theme “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. It calls upon all stakeholders – governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups, other non-governmental organizations and individuals to be actively involved in supporting and promoting the attainment and preservation of a peace culture.

Scouts are Messengers of Peace

The Scout Movement, has since inception in 1907, continued to play a critical role in educating young people to play a constructive role in society. Through our global flagship Messengers of Peace initiative, Scouts from over 162 countries and territories are creating and implementing innovative solutions to local pressing issues that undermine peace – in the areas of skills development, environmental protection, conflict resolution, poverty reduction and creation of opportunities for the less fortunate among others. Interreligious and intercultural dialogue training is a core component of the initiative that reinforces our values of diversity and inclusion for all.

All across Africa and the world, National Scout Organizations have continuously worked with different stakeholders in preaching peace across their countries. Here in Kenya, the recent partnership signed between Kenya Scouts Association and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is enabling the over one million Scouts to become a force for fighting negative ethnicity, religious intolerance, conflicts, inequality and radicalization of young people among many other vices. Scouts are Messengers of Peace working towards creating a better world for all. They are uniting Kenyans by promoting peace, national cohesion and integration

Together Let’s Create a Better World

There is no group better placed to realize the dream of a peaceful world than the young people. As young peace-builders, we have a collective responsibility to demand and to create space for lasting peace and a more just world. With greater support young people can make massive contributions.

We therefore call upon all partners who share a goal for peace to work together in ending the many cases of deadly violence and destabilizing conflicts that we see in our world today. As the World Scout Movement we have made a commitment to contribute to this cause one billion hours of community service by 2023 through projects and activities that promote the social well being of our communities. You can visit our website to learn more about what Scouts are doing around the world.

Our clarion call remains that peace starts with each one of us. Peace starts with Me and You. And together we collectively become Messengers of Peace and play our part in creating a better and peaceful world. Thank you. I am a Scout and I am a Messenger of Peace!

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