Maseru, Lesotho played host to an Inter-Generational Dialogue (IGD) held at the Moshoeshoe Institute of Peace at the National University of Lesotho on 5 November 2019.
The dialogue was centred on the guiding pillars of Global Peace which shaped the agenda of the discussion. The pillars included: building cooperation, tolerance and shared values, building inclusive economies, and the preservation of the environment. The dialogue was facilitated by Mr Liphapang Monesa and the speakers on hand were Ms Mpeo Mahase Moiloa, Mr Mafole Sematlane, Ms Mpho Letima and Mr Lekhooa Letsatsi. Addressing the topic of tolerance and shared values, to kick off the discussions, were Ms Mpho Letima and Mr Mafole Sematlane. Ms Letima appealed with those in attendance to view peace as the root of life. Lesotho was used as an example as a nation divided to reinforce the point that now more than ever peace must be the focal point in the future of Lesotho’s national development. Additionally, Ms Letima addressed the two sustainable development goals – SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality) and SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) – as crucial for the youth to learn and understand peace processes. The protection and preservation of the environment was presented by Mr Lekhooa and Prof Mokuku. Mr Lekhooa stated that the youth must be educated on protecting the environment by learning how to stabilise the greenhouse gasses and save energy. Mr Lekhooa further stated that the environment is central to life and a source of food for many communities since poverty has been identified as a major disruptor to peace. This idea places much-needed long-term thinking into strategically ensuring that environmental protection is inclusive of the communities’ needs to be sustained. The final topic addressed building inclusive economies by Mrs Mpeo Moiloa, who placed emphasis on the function of the youth needing to galvanise their minds towards building inclusive economies because peace and the economy work hand-in-hand.
The dialogue opened to the floor with questions from the audience. Enthusiasm filled the room with many people eager to see change both at a local and international capacity. Questions included “What hinders peace from taking root in Lesotho?”, “What is the right choice when prosperity clashes with the green environmental rule?” and “How can we save our environment from the fourth industrialisation revolution?” To conclude the dialogue, additional comments were given by the speakers – that youth are never too young to be leaders and the custodians of peace in Lesotho and the SDGs cannot be achieved without a mindset centred on compassion and peace.
We would like to thank the National University of Lesotho for assisting in convening a successful IGD. We look forward to seeing the impact of the discussions amongst the youth of Lesotho.