Friday, 9 December 2016

Youths, Peace and Security




The world is witnessing uphill conflict and threat to peace and social cohesion than never before. And youths are greater actors in conflict violence, and are most affected economically, socially and otherwise. It is difficult growing up to see people living apart, with hate speeches on the increase especially in the social media where youths are.

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 Hate speeches, hate comments and hate picture upload can incite violence and inflammatory statement does too.  Social media is used to radicalize young people into violent extremist groups, and are making headline news, making it popular and trendy to youths. If you watch international media TV news, you will see how people are dying in Syria or Yemen for instance.  The gory scene may spark sentiments and emotions for empathy that you may wish to join extremist groups to retaliate or fight a war you know nothing about. Tell me what youths can watch on international media news stations to understand their role as peace vanguards. I tell you I’ve searched and not found.  
 Image result for pictures of hate speech on social media

So, recognizing this threat to stability and development, the United Nations Security Council on December 9, 2015 adopted a resolution that recognizes the important role young people can play in preventing and resolving conflict. The resolution has come to stay as UNSCR 2250.  

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ABOUT UNSCR 2250
This resolution is simply a framework for engagement and empowerment of youths as workers of peace. This resolution is a major breakthrough in our collective effort to change the predominately negative narrative on youths and recognizes the significant role of young people in peace building.
“Youths have for long been cast away as either the perpetrators of violence or victims. With this resolution, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) recognizes the important contribution that young people make in countering violet extremism and supporting peace building effort around the world” Ahmed Alhendawi, UN Youth Secretary General Envoy.
The resolution urges members states to increase representation of youths in decision- making at all levels. In this case, it has defined “youths” as person aged 18-29 years. And urged member states to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes and dispute resolution.  Prior to its adoption, Jordan representative- Dina Kawar, said the resolution, consider first of its kind on youths, peace and security- followed effort by the Prince of Jordan public discussion on combating violent extremism, and global forum on youth, peace and security that took place in Amman in August 2016. “What we seek is to draw the world attention to ensure that young people are given the attention they deserve at a time when the world is a theatre for an increasing number of negative issues, she said.
By the terms of its resolution, the council recognized that today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known, and accounted for many of those civilian affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and displaced persons. But  expressed concerned over the increased use of the internet by terrorists and their supporter to recruit and incite youths to commit terrorist acts and underlined the need for member states to work together to prevent terrorists from exploiting new technologies. Youth, the Council said should be actively engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation if inclusive policies were put in place.

BUILDING FROM GRASS ROOT
Member states were encouraged to engage local communities and non governmental actors in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist’s narrative that can incite and spread terrorist acts. It also call for participation and views of youths to be taken into account during the negotiation and implementation of peace agreement, as their marginalization is detrimental to building sustainable peace in such aspect as repatriation, resettlement and reconstruction.     

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Who knew about Electoral College?



Electoral College came into existence out of disagreement on various issues in the process of drafting the United State of America’s constitution. Of the 55 men present on the first day, 25th may 1787, Native Americans, African American and women were not considered part of the political process, so none attended that convention that put Electoral College into being. It was George Washington that was unanimously agreed to preside over the convention which was held in Philadelphia. 
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Electoral College system is as old as the USA. Many people especially in Africa have just come to know of it after the 2016 Presidential election in which Donald Trump won through Electoral College votes. Many Africans have asked the meaning of Electoral College votes and received unclear answers. But this post has come to clarify this. But what is baffling is how Africa copied the USA system of government i.e. democracy   without knowing the intrigues about it? I recalled if it is because African American was allowed or were not part of the convention that input Electoral College into the constitution in 1787? That is but assumption and if not, what else?
IT WAS A LONG WALK
Many of the rights that America citizens enjoy today can be traced back to political and legal tradition of England who colonized them. The first permanent English settlement was in North America, Jamestown now Virginia in 1607, and was ruled by the Virginia Company; a group of merchants from London.
In 1620, a new group of English men arrived in Plymouth, now Massachusetts. Their ships – Mayflower had 41 men on board that signed a “compact” to set rules and laws to govern them and for them to obey them. This “compact” set up direct democracy, in which they agreed that all men would have to vote for decisions and that majority will always carry the vote and rule. At that time, only adult men were allowed to vote. But this was the beginning of USA democracy. Democracy most African countries had photocopied but not clearly. And is one reason why autocracy and sit tight to power syndrome is eminent in Africa’ democracy.
AT CROSSROAD
Electoral College is a group of people who are named by each state to select president and vice president in the USA. The Electoral College includes 538 electorates (Washington DC has three votes) meaning that states with large population have many electoral votes than less populated states.  In almost all states, the Electoral College is a “winner – take all system”.  What this means is that to be elected president and vice president of USA, candidate must win at least 270 of 538 electoral votes. But surprisingly, you can win popular votes and still not win the contest whereas in Africa, popular votes in election give president the ticket. So I am wondering if Africa decisively dropped Electoral College system when copying democracy. 
I know in Nigeria for instance, borrowed English law from Britain and practice it on democracy they borrowed from America. That alone is confusion and so it is in other African countries.  Be that as it may be, one thing I appreciate Electoral College system is that it allows the President to function without having to give in to popular whims.    
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PATHWAY TO LONELY HOUSE
“The president of USA carries with it responsibility so personal as to be without parallel. No one can make decision for him. Even those closest to him... never know all the reasons why he does certain things and why he comes to certain conclusions. To be president of USA is to be lonely, very lonely at times at great decisions”. Harry S. Truman-33rd USA President (1945-53)
Asking me why being President in Africa countries are not lonely? Why are Presidency houses crowded and noisy like marketplace, filled with sycophants that becloud good decisions?  However, it is simple to know where the noise comes from if you listen carefully now you will hear. It comes from popular votes that the President must play to their whims.
But the point is, who and how did we borrow democracy without Electoral College into Africa? Was it deliberate? Or is a mistake working for us satisfactorily? I never knew about Electoral College before now and many never and have not. If not for globalization I would have still be in the dark about it. Could it be right to reason that USA never wanted us to know the nexus of democracy that makes them strong over the last 200 years of democracy? Or we are the ones that refused to copy correctly? Only time will tell.             

Monday, 28 November 2016

Together we can

Children and Young People Living for Peace aka CYPLP is a registered Not for Profit, open and voluntary membership organization in Nigeria. The organization have affiliation with Mission Del Caribe, USA. Please visit https://missiondelcaribe.org


CYPLP works with youth groups and through  local based community members to provide platforms of engagement where locales take local actions to solve local social problems in their communities. Please visit us at www.cyplp.net.ng
This year, we collectively touched and changed lives of 10,000 young people in hard to reach places while raising them as peace vanguards. We resolved 49 youth related gang conflicts and empowered 5,000 youths and women in skills acquisition including farming. We are able to have brought back 200 drop out of schools adolescent mothers back to school. Donated meals to orphanage homes, enlightened youths on drug abuse, radicalization among others. We say thank you for supporting us.

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We will also like to do more, and ask for support on this GIVING TUESDAY if you could identify with us. And please give us a gift of one time donation of $10 to help us be of service to humanity. Your GIVING will help us do more programs; to reduce hate speech and comments online, buys schools books and bags to poorest of poor children, renovate leaking roofs of orphanages and provide clean water to those who need it most.

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Thank you for giving to save lives. You are because I am, I am because you are. We are part.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

GENDER BASED VIOLATION SHOULD CONTINUE?




Being a woman in Africa is problematic from birth to death arising from complicating cycles of abuses to the extent that women’s status are belittled and discriminated wholly and nobody ever seems to care. This happens politically, socially, religiously and traditionally and is the rational motivation for doing so. Gender based violation is a crime against humanity. It starts small and gravitates uncontrollably. Stopping it at the small stage remains the best option still.
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Poor and uneducated women are most vulnerable and will continue to be the horses even as advocacy goes on. So it is time to reflect and rethink about women’s rights treaties vis a vis in African context so that treaties and conventions are not allowed to be seen as paper work.

TELL ME THE RIGHTS
Gender violation has increased and in the last 100 years, nothing has really changed. Men still beat women and go free, children are still married out to older men, minors are raped and is on the increase, gang rape is also increasing, women are denied ownership to properties, women are still far behind in technology and so on and so on. So tell me, where are their rights gone?

I make bold that African women faces all sort of challenges and abuses in silence even to death. At homes, they are beaten, battered, bruised and killed. At schools and work place they are sexually harassed, raped and abused. At religions centers they are not to be heard, needless to mention traditional centers where genital mutilation is promoted and done. With law enforcement agencies, they are stranded when law enforcement sides societal attitudes and hinder justice.
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Women rights are human rights, make no mistake about it. But the bigger issue is when women themselves refuse to push for implementation of their rights for redress; allowing emotions to override. Another is how can we make women rights rounded and more integrated as people’s agenda for men buy in. A situation where men begin to see women’s rights as empowerment than confrontation?

Men ought to be educated and enlightened about rights on a round table. We’ll need “men to men” dialogue and advocates. I tell you, this can change hearts of stones.

STANDING TALL ON WOMEN’S CONVENTIONS
It is critical to look again at the “Convention on the elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women”(CEDAW). To realize one or more reasons
Most African countries have not domesticated the conventions after signing and why they may never domesticate it? Could it be that they believe it is affront by tradition and culture that men and women are equal in all ramifications as clearly stated on the convention? My guess is as good as yours. This to me seems to be.
So don’t bother to know that 90% of legislators, policy makers and implementers in African countries are men. These people will do all to frustrate bills and efforts for gender equality, even as most of them could be guilty if I am to be a judge especially in rape and child marriage. But am not a judge so let say it again.

I know “Real men don’t beat women, but weak men do”. And according to 2015 women Beijing +20 reports, African have the highest physical and sexual violence at 45.6% in low to middle income countries. So I ask how can we break this cycle of violence and raise real men given the situation.Image result for pictures of gender based violation of african women
And I remember that globally every year, from 25th Novvember-10th December is 16days activism dedicated against gender based violation. And this year’ starts now forward, that I can count on you to add up voice that would break this cycle by doing any little program within you to educate and enlighten yourself and your neighbor about it. About girl' child education and not forgetting women too. Educating boys at schools about gender violation and what it is, is a deal. So we can prevent it in future.
But educating girls about their rights also is a bigger deal, so we can have better outcome, sustainable peace of mind, at home and to the world. If we are able to do this, then I can see the light raising real men from the boys and I know the sun will rise again in Africa; where women will be seen as solution and treated with respect, free and equal. Only then will Africa arise.

#genderbasedviolation #unwomen


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