These are the words of Pope Francis in his message for World Peace Day 2018 which is customarily celebrated on the First of January. The Pontiff concentrated his message on the plight of Migration which is distressing humanity due to lack of peace and safe habitat. The Pope stresses “I constantly keep in my thoughts and prayers, I would once again mention the over 250 million migrants worldwide, of whom 22.5 million are refugees.” His message concentrates on the suffering of immigrants and asks the United Nations to take action on the migration issue during 2018 to alleviate the suffering of millions who are affected by it. The Holy Father proposes four milestones of action for helping the displaced. They are key actions that somehow reflect the traditional way of handling migration, even though not coded as rules.
The first key word is “Welcoming”. He calls the UN and all stake holders to expand legal pathways for entry and no longer push migrants and displaced people towards countries where they face persecution and violence. It is brutal to push back migrants to their country of origin or other places where they face persecution and inhuman treatment. Refugees flee their land of origin because their life is at stake due to war and violence.
Another action is “Protecting” the migrants and displaced people. The Holy Fathers underlines that this has to do with our duty to recognize and defend the inviolable dignity of those who flee real dangers in search of asylum and security, and to prevent their being exploited. Then he says “Promoting” which entails supporting the integral human development of migrants and refugees.
The fourth action is “Integrating”. The Pope wants us and the UN to facilitate so that migrants and refugees are allowed to participate fully in the life of the society that welcomes them, as part of a process of mutual enrichment and fruitful cooperation in service of the integral human development of the local community. As indicated above, this is what happened in history in the many parts of the world. Europeans and Africans migrated to the Americas many centuries ago. After some time they became integrated members of the Americas. From the Middle East many migrated across the Red Sea and settled in the High Lands of Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Jewish community itself is still in the process of migration which has still to find final settlement, not a forced one in Israel. Within Africa, many ethnic groups migrated from one corner to the other and their settlements found lasting solutions. They even integrated with the hosting community and new blood mixtures are everywhere in the continent.
What forces people to leave their homes is war and violence. As the current world situation exhibits in many parts of the world, peace is absent. That is way our cover story carries the title: World Thirst for Peace. Indeed the world is immersed in situations of war and violence where the victims are always the defenseless women and children. Some political leaders and perpetuators are making huge financial gains from the suffering of immigrants and refugees.
This January issue of 2018 invites our readership to look back at 2017 from different angles: World, Church and Uganda. We thank the Almighty God and people of ‘Good Will’ who brought positive changes to our earth. Meanwhile each citizen of the earth has to pledge to build lasting peace to all those who are suffering for lack of support and attention. No one is exempted from the “mission” of building peace of whichever race of faith, or social status one may be. Leadership Magazine once again wishes all its readers a PEACEFUL 2018!
May the Almighty God shower upon us peace: “WHICH THIS WORLD CAN’T GIVE”!!
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