Ndembe Usman, Staff writer @The Colbert Factor
In a prelude to this year’s international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence which runs from November 25-December 10, 2023, under the theme: ‘Unite! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls’; for which a more fitting theme for Cameroon would have been: ‘From Peace in the home to peace in the world: Let’s end militarism…’, a Cameroonian-based organization, Right to Smile, has been speaking of the urgent need for positive peacebuilding as a prerequisite for any sustainable development in that conflict-ridden society where women, girls, and children have been disproportionately affected.
In a presentation last Sunday 19 November 2023, retired commissioner of police, Fultang Francis, Senior Policy Adviser at the Right to Smile Foundation, revealed that for peace to be sustainable, it must be positive. He made the declaration in an exposé on “positive peace as a prerequisite for sustainable peace.”
The seasoned peace crusader called on Cameroonians to shun negative peace which is said to be the absence of war, violence, and the fear of violence described as a time bomb, and embrace positive peace which comprises those attitudes and structures that create peaceful societies.
He furthered that peace is a tangible good that Cameroonians must deliberately work to achieve.
In this regard, this retired commissioner of police who has extensively traveled on peace missions around the globe enjoined participants at the presentation to preach about the eight pillars of peace wherever they go.
The eight pillars he underlined to include a well-functioning government, sound business environment, equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others, free flow of information, high level of human capital, low levels of corruption and, finally, good relationship with neighbors.
He explained the eight pillars as an interconnected system working like a web.
This senior policy adviser in the Right To Smile Foundation rolled out a good number of positive kickbacks from positive peace.
Positive peace, he said, creates the optimum environment for human potential to flourish and propels economic growth and sustainable development.
Furthermore, he affirmed that the benefits of positive peace hinge on stronger resilience and adaptability.
Over and above stronger resilience and adaptability, he mentioned a better environment outcome, higher measures of well-being, better performance on sustainable development goals, higher per capita income, and a better business environment.
The consequences of negative peace, known to have robbed Cameroon’s image in the mud, was reflected on the 2023 Global Peace Index (G P I) report on peace measurement. The
report from G P I, known to be the world’s leading measure of global peace, ranked Cameroon 139 out of 163 independent States of the world in terms of levels of peacefulness.
On this note, many participants thought that for Cameroon to clear the mess it has robbed itself in, Commissioner Fultang Fancis should organize more presentations on positive peace that should involve stakeholders from the government bench alongside other belligerents.
It should be noted that the Right To Smile Foundation which was the brain behind the presentation by Retired Commissioner Fultang Francis is underpinned to four pillars to stay within sight of its missions.
It functions from the premise that the old and dying have the right to smile. The widows, the orphans and the underprivileged also have the right to smile in a conducive environment.
Participants at Right to Smile expose
Rtd Snr Commissioned Officer, Fultang Francis