African heads of state gathered together to leave a legacy of peace to future generations
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the births of former South African President Nelson Mandela and the human rights activist Albertina Sisulu, the 2018 African Leaders of Peace Summit was held at Hilton Hotel in Gauteng, Johannesburg, South Africa on August 10 to discuss ways to achieve an Africa free of conflict.
The former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Madagascar Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, the Queen Mother of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, Dr. Semane Molotlegi, the Royal Prince Hlangusempi of eSwatini, deputy speakers, former vice presidents among others, were in attendance.
The summit was co-hosted by the African Leaders of Peace Summit Organising Committee, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), the International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG), and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). It highlighted the roles of the leaders in establishing peace and security in Africa and suggested a plan for the implementation of the African Union’s “Agenda 2063“.
“Today I have heard about the cessation of war and that everyone wants peace, not war,” former President Chissano said. “But there is one more thing I would like to add, and that is: cessation of war is not possible without the cessation of individual and familial conflicts. And our children need to receive peace education and learn the culture of peace.”
Mozambican President of the National Assembly Veronica Nataniel Macamo said, “I believe that peace can be achieved through the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW) and hope that all nations will be able to attain peace not only for our future generations but in our current generation as well.”
A speech by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL, the international NGO that co-hosted the summit, followed and discussed practical solutions for achieving peace.
“I have come to Africa to speak about the work of peace. Countless people have worked for peace on this planet but how much peace do we have today?” he asked, calling on the audience to act for peace.
He also spoke about how he had confirmed the universal desire for peace through his 29 trips around the world saying, “There will be no greater thing we could leave as a legacy to our future generations than to end wars on this planet and create peace.”
His Royal Highness Prince Hlangusempi who is the Minister of Economics and Planning participated in the event as a special emissary of the King of the kingdom of eSwatini. His Royal Highness Prince Hlangusempi signed a “National Solidarity Statement for the Promotion of the DPCW” agreeing to support HWPL’s global peace-building efforts. President of Seychelles, Danny Faure did the same, representing the nation’s official support of the DPCW.
The DPCW is a document drafted by HWPL and proclaimed on March 14, 2016, to create a legally binding instrument for the cessation of war and establishment of peace. It is composed of 10 articles and 38 clauses and promotes principles for peace such as conflict resolution, promotion of friendly relations between states, freedom of religion, and the spreading of a culture of peace.
HWPL is a United Nations Economic and Social Council-affiliated NGO. Its main peace initiatives are the establishment of the international law for peace, interfaith harmony among religions and peace education. IPYG is a partner organisation of HWPL and endorses the Peace Letter Campaign, to advocate for youth participation in peace-building by collecting letters of support for peace to send to national leaders.