Last week our great country got to elect its government. What a privilege!
Appropriately, last week on 16 May 2019 it was also the International Day of Living Together in Peace.
We are incredibly lucky in this country that we get to vote freely, without harassment, intimidation or bullying. We even get to vote on weekends, so our local schools and churches are free to raise money and we can share a sausage or a cake. How fantastic!
Voting in other countries is generally done during the week so you have to take time off work, and in many countries bullying and harassment are the norm. People are often killed during election campaigns, just for having a say. Unfortunately, we only have to look at our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, where they had a presidential election last week. There have been riots, rubber bullets, and at least six deaths.
Well, the election is over, and whatever you think of the result, let’s celebrate the fact that we can have an election, listen to, recognise, respect and appreciate others, and live together in a peaceful and united way.
The UN General-Assembly has named 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace. The aim is to celebrate the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity. The UN has said that celebrating this day is a means to uphold the “desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony”.
The International Day of Living Together in Peace encourages countries to “further promote reconciliation to help to ensure peace and sustainable development, including by working with communities, faith leaders and other relevant actors, through reconciliatory measures and acts of service and by encouraging forgiveness and compassion among individuals.”
MBL values tolerance, diversity and compassion. We encourage you to celebrate our free elections, our right to engage in civil discourse and our peaceful democracy.