In December of 2007, Kenyans came out in large numbers to vote for their electorate in what would have been a truly historic election. It never was, instead it was a moment in history that most Kenyans would want to put behind them.
Right after the election the country was almost torn apart by violence that erupted and that turned community against community, neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend and even family against family. Even though calm did eventually return, there was a permanent scar in the hearts and minds of Kenyans wondering if this could ever recur again in future elections.
It is against such a backdrop that makes the coming of the Global Peace Convention significant.
The convention, which is themed ‘conflict resolution; peace and development’ will be three-fold – the main convention convening, an international youth summit and a festival that is meant to be a culmination of the convention and would be a highlight and celebration of peace and Kenyan culture.
The Global Peace Convention is one of the programs of the Global Peace Festival Foundation (GPFF). It is often a culmination of Global Peace Festivals (another program of GPFF). The upcoming convention that will be held in Kenya has been developed following Global Peace Festivals held in Asia pacific, South Asia, Africa and Latin America and will be the second one of its kind. The first Global Peace Convention was held in the Philippines in December of 2009.
The three events will take place here in Nairobi, Kenya culminating on November 20 when 50,000 people will come together at Nyayo National Stadium for a celebration of peace.
The Convention will be expecting a preeminent assembly of leaders from the government, civil society, and faith-based organizations, the Global Peace Convention offers a world-level platform to share best practices and develop collaborative strategies in areas of conflict resolution, peace-building, sustainable development, character education / youth empowerment, resource management, and social entrepreneurship
President Mwai Kibaki is the patron of the Global Peace Convention and will be expected to address the official opening ceremony on the 18th. Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the patron for the Global Peace Festival, which will be a celebration of the achievements of the convention towards peace and development. The attention, efforts and goodwill that the convention has received has truly been witnessed through the Government’s support of its planning. The International Youth Leaders Summit is convening under the partnership of The Global Peace Youth Corps and, the UN Habitat and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and is expected to bring together more than 500 young leaders from around the world.
When GPFF International President Dr. Hyun Gynn Moon came to Kenya, he had a welcome and open door to meet President Kibaki as the two leaders shared and discussed the various ways development could be achieved. International government representatives expected will include Hon. Lilian Samantego, the Senator of the Republic of Paraguay and Sir James Mancham, the founding President of Seychelles among others.
Besides leaders in Government both here in Kenya and abroad, the convention will be graced by others in the civil and inter-faith organizations. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, also the founder of the Greenbelt Movement will be expected at the event. As well as Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala Wabukhala, who will be part of the team championing the interfaith efforts.
The Convention will have a cross section of hot topics and ideas that will be focused on the following main areas: –
It is from these key areas that the convention has derived the number of other subtopics that will focus on a number of issues including:
Global Peace Service Alliance (GPSA) is a coalition of partners that transcends religious and ethnic divisions, that includes service to others as a strategic methodology, and that effectively engages every sector – government, faith based, corporate and volunteer and stakeholders in achieving sustainable peace.
GPSA will be one of the organizations that will be spearheading the social media sessions at the convention and welcomes the engagement of the online community who are keen on the various exciting and hot ideas that will be emerging from this effort.
Do you want to be a participant at either the Convention, International youth summit or the festival?
Registration is now open. You can register online at www.globalpeaceconvention.org/convention
If you will not be able to join us at the convention, you can get involved and keep the conversation going through the various social media platforms: