This year, Zimbabwe celebrates the International Day of Peace, on 21 September with the Global Peace Index (GPI) indicating a deterioration in the country’s peacefulness rankings.
The GPI measures the state of peace across three domains including the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarisation.
Zimbabwe ranks 133 falling 2 places from 131 last year. Points are now at 2.490 from 4.434 achieved in 2020.
At the international level, the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 percent.
In a statement on the International Day of Peace, Zimbabwe’s National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), the nation’s mechanism for resolving past conflicts and building national and subnational capacities blames the country’s situation on the Covid-19 pandemic debating that this has become a conflict multiplier.
The commission says worldwide there is an increasing relational inquiry about trust between citizens and institutions; access to life-saving vaccines by rich countries matched against developing nations; livelihood insecurities for citizens during lockdowns; rise in domestic and gender-based violence; civil and political unrests; cross border and inter-state tensions; criminal related incidents and cases of stigma and discrimination all of which can easily become drivers of conflict.
“It is for this reason that the Commission makes a national call to renew our collective commitments to peaceful nation-building, strengthened by the efforts being made by state and non-state stakeholders to even out access to life saving services, including the much-needed vaccinations,” reads the statement.
This year’s International Day of Peace commemorations theme: “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World.” is premised on the fact that as the world heals from the COVID-19 pandemic according to NPRC.
With the GPI report indicating that Zimbabwe is deteriorating when it comes to peace, UNESCO and the European Union (EU) organized a training meeting on conflict management. World Peace day was also designated as the day to commemorate the alleviation of conflicts.
The objective of the training facilitated by Zimbabwe Online Content Creators (ZOCC) was to assist media partners to professionally and share lifesaving information and debunk disinformation on Covid-19 in conflict-prone environments.
The Centre for Conflict Management and Transformation which trained the media revealed that communication, peace, and conflict are related and interconnected in terms of how individuals can approach conflict resolution and conflict transformation.
CCMT also revealed that how information is packaged can trigger or help resolve conflict in fragile environments.