By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, New York
The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has advocated for the compulsory inclusion of peace education in the basic education curriculum in African schools to promote a culture of peace on the continent.
She made the call at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Promoting Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Contexts”.
The high-level event was organized by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Ms. Buhari, the President of the AFLPM, who spoke virtually, said there was a need to include peace education in school curricula due to the particularity of conflicts in Africa.
“I advocated for the compulsory inclusion of ‘peace education’ as a core subject in the basic education curriculum of schools in Africa, at the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of Africa. African Union, in Malabo, equatorial region, Guinea, in May 2022.
“I am happy to report that the initiative has been well received,” she said.
Ms. Buhari called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to do the same as key partners and implementers of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) program (UNESCO)
She said she had made a similar call to UNESCO, in consultation with other entities and partners, to consider developing a universal curriculum on gender, peace and security education for all. schools to implement resolution 1325.
The Nigerian First Lady noted that the event coincided with the 22nd anniversary of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS, and subsequently nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.
Ms. Buhari added that it was also significant that these historic resolutions on the pre-eminence of women and girls in peacebuilding, peacemaking and peacekeeping processes were passed in this great city of New York.
“We meet at a time of heightened tension and conflict in all parts of the world.
“Therefore, it is time for women and their organizations to step up their contribution to the cause of peace and justice, and for the international community to place greater value on the particular voices of women in the process of peace.
According to her, as a guardian and partner in the fight for peace in Africa, the challenge is even greater “for our 12-year-old institution to stand up and insist that women’s priorities are at the heart of peace and security policy at all levels”.
She added that “it is clear that violent conflicts claim the most victims among women and girls, even though we constitute more than half of the world’s population.
“In conflict situations, we are predisposed to the twin dangers of horror and gender injustice in various forms.
“Already, there is a large gap in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to limited access to health care, social services, economic opportunities and women’s political participation. and girls in Africa,” she said.
In a continent plagued by widespread unrest and state fragility, she said our individual countries were facing alarming rates of maternal and child mortality more than ever before.
“In addition to death, injury and displacement, conflict destroys infrastructure, undermines social ties and reduces the ability of states to deliver the development agenda promised to the African electorate.
“Our vital resources are increasingly being diverted to put out fires in various battles across Africa – from the Sahel to the oceans,” she said.
Ms Buhari said it was in the face of these challenges that women had proven their special skills as agents of peace in conflict situations, although this role had been largely overlooked.
The First Lady said that accepting and integrating the unique experience, capacity and particularity of women in all aspects of the peace and security sector was therefore essential for the success of each of the components of our peace efforts. .
“To achieve this and other goals, the social, cultural and political barriers that limit women’s full participation in achieving lasting peace must therefore be addressed with a renewed pace.
“Fortunately, the follow-up to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2242 has provided ‘measures and standards’ to monitor the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security mandates, among others,” the First Lady said.
The Minister for Women’s Affairs Madame Pauline Tallen; the President’s Senior Special Assistant on SDGs, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and his wife; the wife of the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mrs. Florence Egopija, the wife of the Governor of Edo State, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, the wife of the Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Regina Lalong, were included among those who attended the event.