The Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association of Malaysia (PPSEAWA Malaysia) held the United Nations International Peace Day Walk at our Peace Garden Taman Rimba Kiara, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail Kuala Lumpur on Thursday the 21st September 2017.
It was also an occasion to commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people. The theme of this year 2017 is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”
At dawn with the myriad of colours accompanied by chirping birds, our Peace Garden portrays a serene and tranquil atmosphere to the tune of fresh air where joggers were seen jogging at a slow pace enjoying the morning air and also walkers who strolled leisurely. Residents residing at Taman Tun Dr. Ismail and surrounding areas of our Peace Garden were invited to participate in the Peace Walk.
We also set up tables for food and beverage, PA system and sale of T-shirts, light blue clour with the logo of PPSEAWA Malaysia and theme of this year's International Day of Peace.
A good turnout of 100 people were present including our special VIP the Yang Berhormat Brid. Gen. Khairy Jamaluddin bin Abu Bakar, the Minister of Youth and Sports, his lovely wife Puan Nori Abdullah Badawi, UN Representative, several invitees and PPSEAWA members. We were also joined by the joggers, strollers and public who were there.
The programme begins at 7.30 am with a physical dance exercise and aerobics. It was initiated by a welcome speech by our President Dato Rahmah, followed by the Minster’s official speech and the Representative from the United Nations (UNICEF) Office Malaysia, Ms. Marianne Clark-Hattingh.
After the exercise and speeches the Minster flagged off the Peace Walk and also led all to a leisure walk around our Peace Garden and enjoyed the morning air and sunshine. Later it was followed by refreshments and photography session with the VIP’s and guests.
The morning which began at dawn and adjourned by 10.00 am was a successful event.
Malaysia Additional Report:
Yang Berhormat Brid. Gen. Khairy Jamaluddin bin Abu Bakar, Minister of Youth and Sports
YBhg Dato’ Rahmah Abdul Hamid, President, Pan-Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I’d like to thank Dato’ Rahmah and the Pan-Pacific & South-East Asia Women's Association for inviting the United Nations to take part in these celebrations on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. And what an appropriate location to hold these celebrations in - the Peace Garden, at Taman Rimba.
The UN General Assembly created International Day of Peace in 1981 for “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace within and among all nations and people.” The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace, “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” is particularly pertinent given the increasing number of conflicts and unprecedented number of people who have been displaced around the world. 65.6 million people have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. That’s 20 people forced from their homes every minute. And We don’t have to look far, the Rohingya crisis which has displaced 415,000 people since 25th August, is a stark reminder of the hardship and suffering inflicted by conflict and war.
Another 10 million people are stateless - the Rohingya count amongst them – these people have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. More than 150,000 of them are living right here in Malaysia.
Our obligation as an international community is to ensure that everyone forced to flee their homes receives the protection to which they are entitled under international law. Our duty as a human family is to replace fear with kindness.
Many of those who flee have lost everything, children have lost their childhood and parents their livelihoods. These people need our understanding and assistance. They need to be seen as human beings first not as a burden or a threat. Throughout history humanity owes much to those who have migrated or fled wars through their contributions to society, people like Simone Viel, feminist icon and holocaust survivor who recently died at age 89, Albert Einstein, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Henry Kissinger, Ann Frank, Madeleine Albright and Steve Jobs – son of a Syrian refugee… to name but a few. Let us recognize the many ways in which refugees and migrants can contribute to and strengthen their host countries and communities.
By opening our hearts, joining hands and reaching out to refugees and migrants, we can move closer to attaining peace, prosperity and protection for all in line with the Sustainable Development Goals – notably goal 16 that is about Promoting Peaceful and Inclusive Societies.
Peace is far more than the absence of war. Peace could be described as a condition of respect for the dignity and rights of every human being. Respect for the dignity and rights of every human being and peace and harmony are crucial for sustainable development that, equally, belongs to all.
So on this International Day of Peace, let us all pause to give a thought to those millions of people who have had to flee their homes because of war, and especially those who live among us right here in Malaysia.