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Day of Peace in Georgetown, Guyana

Georgetown, Guyana - Ambassadors for Peace and associates held a Peace Walk on September 19, 2010, commemorating the International Day of Peace. Marching through streets of the city Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, participants arrived at the National Park for a rally which was addressed by Hon. Samuel Hinds, the Prime Minister of Guyana.

The event was organized by the Guyana Justice of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths to Affidavits Association (JOP/COA), the Universal Peace Federation, Ambassadors for Peace, the Indian Cultural Centre, the Amerindian Dance Group, and the Crystallites Performing Arts Company.

In addition to the Prime Minister, other speakers at the rally included Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Guyana Professor Dr. Michael Scott; Bishop Francis Alleyne, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Georgetown; and Pandit Chrishna Persaud, President of the JOP/COA. The program was chaired by Ronald McGarrell, Secretary General of UPF-Guyana.

The Prime Minister said that the time has come for Guyanese to firmly denounce violence while embracing acts which support brotherly love, tolerance, and love. He also stated that the achievement of durable peace is the calling of everyone and starts at the family and community levels. He added that peace fosters development and paves the way for youth to realize their full potential. He also called for the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Prime Minister urged all to strengthen peaceful bonds with each other, renounce hostility and hatred, and foster a spirit of togetherness and unity.

He added that Guyana joins the rest of the world in rallying for peace while ensuring freedom from all forms of conflict, in keeping with the international quest for peace.

"The United Nations remains committed to the central role of promoting peace through its Peace Missions and negotiations of durable peace agreements in the toughest parts of the world," the Prime Minister said. He mentioned that under the astute leadership of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon nations have increased their efforts to promote social cohesion and lasting cordial relations.

Addressing the issue of violence, Bishop Francis Alleyne said that persons who commit acts of violence are themselves victims. He noted a call from the Red Thread Women's Development Program urging persons to support victims of violence and empathize with their fears and situations. Red Thread is Guyanese NGO that provides information, skill development and other resources to address 'inequalities that oppress grassroots women.'

"We are our sisters' keepers, and it falls upon members of the family and the neighborhood to be vigilant and instrumental in changing the landscape of behaviors in the home.... How can people be helped and supported to change their perceptions of violence into ones of protecting, providing, and nurturing?" Bishop Alleyne asked.

The program concluded with the releasing of pigeons into the air as a signal of peace and freedom.

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