I was deeply honored to be selected as the Lebanon representative at the Parliamentarians for Peace (P4P) Programme. Through this program, I entertained the privilege of collaborating with front running national MPs known for their longstanding experience and acquired knowledge in developing and implementing national policies and programs that benefit our respective countries.
We, as legislators from 10 different countries, acknowledge the fact that passing relevant legislation in our respective countries requires multilateral collaboration and international cooperation with a unified political drive, aimed at fully addressing today’s cross cutting and thorny challenges.
For the past year, we have been witnessing at home and abroad how the COVID-19 pandemic is putting the international order under pressure. Global governance is weakening, while the stock of the world is deteriorating. Vulnerabilities of the global system were most certainly highlighted and exacerbated by the pandemic. My participation was driven by my ultimate conviction that we are immensely in need for a harmonized international cooperation to face this unprecedented crisis.
Despite the borders that separate our chambers, despite the political boundaries that differentiate our respective viewpoints, we were keen on collaborating and working jointly on developing policy ideas and anticipations and we have come together in one voice to say the following: Peace is about political will. Peace is about global governance. Peace is about conscious long term incremental efforts. Peace is about international harmony and solidarity.
Primarily, if I want to highlight the one most important lesson that touched me and that I learned from our recurrent intensive sessions during the Parliamentarians for Peace Program and from the Normandie Peace Forum it is that sustaining peace requires first and foremost ensuring social justice and equality amongst members of society. There is no possibility of a world at peace that fosters such high levels of inequalities both within nations and between nations.
Consequently, upholding peace involves tackling these long-lasting discrepancies swiftly and strongly: alleviating poverty and lifting the most vulnerable from acute poverty, securing equal access to education and job opportunities, and offering social protection to all types of workers across sectors.
This is a message that also echoes strongly at home, as Lebanon encounters one of the most severe economic crises in its history, and youth revolts resonate across the country, asking for more equality and justice, and a more transparent and accountable institutional order. It was so touching to be having these conversations around peace and its requirements, as the country faces one of the worst existential crises it has ever encountered.
There is no doubt that this Peace Policy Platform has been really unique and added value, providing us with the space to think and debate with like-minded public officials and parliamentarians. It has provided us with access to critical information and insights around building resilience, and preparing the groundwork and the necessary ingredients for peace, and the need to deepen the complementarity of mobilized actors in any country or nation.
As a member of the P4P family, I urge our fellow parliamentarians, across the globe, to consider such policy solutions to enhance their national legislative understanding and interventions, and to better relate the local to the global, and anchor any solutions in the language of global peace making and development. I finally call on my national and local government to support and sustain such transitional initiatives as strategic solutions to the emerging dangers undermining peace in my beloved country, Lebanon.
Professor Dima Rachid Jamali was elected in 2018 as a member of the Lebanese Parliament. She is the Chair of the SDGs parliamentary committee and has served as a President since 2015 for Global Compact Network Lebanon (GCNL), a network of businesses committed to advancing Sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lebanon.