Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Day of Peace. The commemorations this year are running under the theme, “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
The commemorations for this year’s offer an opportunity for member states such as Zimbabwe to evaluate the progress made in upholding and implementing provisions of resolutions passed by the UN to advance peace. The UN Resolution 2250 (2015) adopted by the Security Council on 9 December 2015 compel member states such as Zimbabwe to comply with their respective obligations to end impunity and further calls on them to investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against civilians, including youths. Resolution 1325 adopted by the UN Security Council in on 31 October 2000, also compel member states to take special measures to protect women and girls from gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse. In November 2016, during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process of Zimbabwe in Switzerland, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that operate in Zimbabwe presented a gloomy account of a deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe that range from arbitrary arrests, torture and intimidations.
This years’ commemoration is also taking place against a background where Government is yet to operationalize the NPRC, a constitutional body that has the responsibility of ensuring post-conflict justice, healing and reconciliation. What stands in the way of the operationalization of the NPRC is the absence of a law which provides the legal framework for the NPRC to start its work. On the occasion of this years’ commemorations, Heal Zimbabwe calls upon the Ministry responsible for National Healing to operationalize the NPRC by finalizing processes that stand in the way of crafting a legal framework that will operationalize the NPRC.
The country is heading for another round of national elections in 2018, HZT appeals to political parties and all interested stakeholders to uphold peace, before, during and after the election period. The organization further calls for a peaceful voter registration, campaign and voting process that allows people to freely exercise their democratic right of choosing leaders of their choice without being harassed or coerced. HZT is currently rolling out a National Peace campaign: 13 Million Voices For Peace which seeks to appeal to every Zimbabwean to pledge to uphold peace as …Peace begins with me, Peace begins with you and Peace begins with all of us…