I was tremendously humbled and appreciative to the Open Diplomacy Institute and the Parliamentarians for Peace (P4P) program for their esteemed privilege and honour in finding merit to nominate me to join the P4P network.I must admit, this auspicious honour and favour came as a surprise to me. However, having understood the fundamental role leaders play in shaping and transforming the world, I fully welcomed the nomination.
To me, this was an opportunity to actualize true leadership as proclaimed by Martin Luther King Jr, when he said: “A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a moulder of consensus” - Martin Luther King Jr.
True to this, my understanding of the Parliamentarians for Peace program is based on the power we hold as legislators in advocating and communicating meaningful pragmatic change for our people. Indeed, the noble initiative to bring together legislators from all over the world to advance advocacy and communication on pertinent issues of interest is worth commending.
In the 2021 Forum, the focus point on world peace and stability continues to be a critical call to action for all nations of the world. In particular, the world is currently facing significant challenges in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.One critical aspect the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us as humans is that multilateralism is fundamentally important. In the curbing and mitigation of future world issues, a learning point from the pandemic is that nations have more power united, and on a similar accord as opposed to disintegrated - world peace based on cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally.
A critical focus point as we move ahead is the need to bolster our national, regional and international health systems. As such, in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a dire need to prioritize the decentralization of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing. Regarding the inadequacies currently experienced in the African continent as related to COVID-19 vaccines, it becomes imperative to give power to nations across the world to be self-sufficient and self-reliant in terms of the manufacture and distribution of vaccines.
As an African leader, I hold in high esteem and resonance the pertinent rallying calls by African Heads of State under the African Union (AU) bloc in demanding for the African Continent to be heard and prioritized in the COVID-19 vaccines supply chain. Rightfully, goodwill alone could not suffice as a surety for African nations and other least developed countries (LDCs).
Under the parliamentarians for Peace umbrella, I look forward to engaging with leaders across the world in ensuring that we honour our maiden responsibility as leaders: that is to ensure that our people’s welfare and wellbeing are guaranteed.
True to the wise saying of Mahatma Gandhi, I conquer that “If We have the belief that we can do it, We shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if We may not have it at the beginning”- Mahatma Gandhi.
As one and united, we can, we must and we will conquer all odds to ensure humanity thrives and progresses.
As a surgeon and gynecologist, Dr Swarup Ranjan Mishra has worked for global health and access to medicine for over twenty years. He has been a Member of Parliament of Kenya since 2017 for the Jubilee Party where he holds the position of Vice-Chair of the parliamentary Committee on Members services and facilities. Dr Mishra is also the former Vice-Chairperson of the Health Committee.