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Annual Peace Tour (Theme: What Does Peace Mean to You, and How Do You Build Peace)

Project Title:              Annual Peace Tour (Theme: What Does Peace Mean to You, and How Do You Build Peace)

Date:                           February – March 2022

Location:                    Nigeria

Project Goal:             a) To acquaint participants with the complexities involved in peacebuilding and conflict prevention,

b) To familiarize participants with the various techniques of handling conflicts,

c) To provide participants with the basic nuances in the field of peace and conflict management.

Area of Focus:          Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention, Education and Literacy

February is the Rotary International month for peacebuilding and conflict prevention; having identified the need to address the misconceptions about what constitutes peace, how to build peace and the personality traits of a Peacebuilder, the organization earmarked two months for this year’s Annual Peace Tour, to visit Rotary Clubs and sister organizations across Nigeria with an objective to demystify the assumptions and stereotypes of Peacebuilder and peacebuilding; drawing attention to the subjective nature of the concept and factors that influence peace and conflict, which makes this phenomenon delicate and intricate.

“Our various seminars presented opportunities to share opinions, analysis and few facts concerning the conflict in Eastern Europe and bring to the fore, how certain conflict management tools could have been utilized, and can be utilized to halt the progression of violence in the region”.

“In our usual practice at every forum, the personal opinions of participants were sampled on the concept of peace and conflict to ascertain individual levels of understanding of the subject matter, analysis and illustrations were based on historical conflict situations or on scenarios and simulations. Our presentations at tour centered on the impasse between Ukraine and Russia. Participants line of thoughts were guided to track the latent stage of the conflict; when it would have been much easier to reach a compromise and nip hostilities in the bud, to the current stalemate and escalation stage. Also, how both Countries utilized the EW-ER (early warning and early response) system to assess levels of risk and threats; and how Ukraine further tried to balance power based on the information derived from the EW-ER mechanism. Strategies that could be used to de-escalate the present conflict situation and bring positive peace in the region were further discussed and it was unanimously agreed that there should be an immediate call for cease fire by the United Nations, and genuine State and Non-State actors should takeover or be “more” involved in the negotiation and mediation process. That EU States should take charge and rationally lead the intervention process to bring a lasting solution to the region, yielding tangible concessions and compromise where necessary, inview of the power and interest asymmetry of the States involved”.

The take home messages for participants were:

  1. Peace is subjective – what constitutes peace, means different things to different people at different circumstances/ realities
  2. Be more tolerable and accommodating because comprehension, values, perceptions etc differ
  3. Be alert and observant – identify possible positive or negative influences to peace and conflict, and manage them accordingly
  4. Build your power elements for peace sustenance, peace enforcement, conflict mitigation and conflict management
  5. Because peace is inclusive and continuous – Protect and safeguard yourself at all times (emotions, mental health, environment etc).

To commemorate the occasion, organizations were gifted the Activating Positive Peace in Nigeria bannerette to serve as a constant reminder to members and visitors alike, to build and maintain peace in Nigeria and wherever they may find themselves.