April 17, 2024

Osun Monarch’s Wife, Queen Angelique-Monet-Gureje-Thompson Hosts Delegation of Wives of Nigerian Governors, African Permanent Missions During the 78th UN General Assembly

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L – R; Dr Uwen Esiet, Their Excellencies and First Ladies – Mrs Pricilla Otti (Abia), Mrs Bamidele Abiodun (Ogun), Dr (Mrs) Olayemi Abiodun-Oyebanji (Ekiti), Dr (Mrs) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Ambassador Prof (Mrs) Olufolake Abdulrazaq (Kwara), HRM Oba Dokun Thompson (The Oloni of Eti-Oni, Osun State), HRM Queen Angelique-Monet Gureje-Thompson, Engr (Mrs) Tamunominini Makinde (Oyo), Mrs Nkechinyere Mbah (Enugu), Barr (Mrs) Chioma Deborah Uzodima (Imo), Chief Kola Karim and HRH Cheryl Halpern

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By Correspondent 

At the opening of the 78th United Nations General Assembly which took place in New York City at the UN headquarters on Tuesday, 19 September 2023, the wife of His Majesty Oba Dokun Thompson, The Oloni of Eti-Oni, Osun State, Nigeria, the American-born multi-disciplinary talent, Her Royal Majesty Queen Angelique-Monet Gureje-Thompson hosted a high level side line event tagged the International Ladies Peace Power Breakfast under the banner of her NGO, New Generation In Action’s AFI World Peace Initiative in partnership with Visions of Peace Initiative and the UN SRC Latin Workshop Society

The event which celebrated the 7 C’s of Culture, Content, Civility, Climate, Clarity, Communications, and Community was held at the UN Delegates Dining Room and co-chaired by HRH Cheryl Halpern, Founder, visions of Peace Initiative, former Chair of the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and alternate U.N. representative for the United States at the 63rd UN General Assembly appointed by President George W. Bush along with Ms Rosely Saad, President of the UN SRC Latin Workshop Society.

The event was introduced by Mrs Kayla Lookinghorse-Smith (a honourary Board Member of NGIA AFI World Peace Initiative) who addressed the audience in her Native American language while Ms Tonya Canady also a honourary Board Member was the host.

Ms Rosely Saad, Co-Chair of the event, in her remarks welcomed all to the UN Headquarters and applauded the diversity of the guests and participants as a true reflection of what the United Nations was all about to afford meaningful and impactful engagement across the world.

In her Opening Address, HRH Cheryl Halpern who co-Chaired, stated “we are currently living in unsettling times that are marked by turbulence and violence.  Globally there is rising incivility, hatred, bigotry and fanaticism.

The preponderance of struggles for freedom and justice around the world need to be a clarion call to all of us. As individuals we are challenged as to how to achieve peace within all of our interactive relations, both privately and publicly.”

Halpern in her remarks pointed to the fact that there was the challenge with the young people who used digital technologies that involved less human to human contact and provided more opportunity for the promulgation of prejudice and aggression.

She said many of the stories that were aired and shared on the global multi-media and social networking platforms focus on bigotry, hatred, and fanaticism and had resulted in the ideological recruitment of the young by extremists, in sexual abuse, physical assault, homicide and suicide.

So, the rising incivility and the subsequent desensitizing of youth to hate and violence, be it as a result of face to face or virtual experiences urgently required civil solutions.

The founder of Visions of Peace Initiative continued that Tolerance, the willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs that were different from one’s own was not included in the human genome and must be learned and it was essential that youths, beginning at an early age, were taught tolerance in order to promote civil society.

She advised that young people needed help to cross the growing gap between the earlier end of childhood and the start of their adult lives to develop into the responsible adults that they need to be and, as the vanguard of the future, that society needs them to be.

HRH Halpern added that “Working together with youths, ages 5 to 18, the Visions of Peace Initiative has promoted civility and respect for others by embracing the ethic of reciprocity, also known as the “golden rule”, a universal value that is essential for civil social behaviour. 

The ethic of reciprocity teaches us to “Do unto others as you would want done for yourself and conversely, don’t do to another, what you would not want done to you.” It is a message that finds expression through the millennia in the teachings of all faiths.”

She reiterated further that “Since its founding in 2017, the Visions of Peace Initiative had inspired several hundred thousand young Indonesians to express their views about tolerance and peaceful coexistence through the broad spectrum of the arts:  including drawing, poetry, song, dance and film.  These arts modalities provide multifaceted platforms through which to bridge socioeconomic, ethnic and religious divides.  In choosing their artistic voice, the participants channel their ideas and share their perspectives on tolerance, peace and respect for each other.”

In addition to her remarks, HRH Halpern presented VOPI book, “the art of peace” which is a tribute to all of the participants in the visions of peace initiative programs and an acclamation for the young award recipients whose work is represented. 

Every drawing included was a heartfelt presentation of a child’s vision of hope for a better future with civility, dignity and peaceful coexistence. 

She stated that through their presentations of a vision for a peaceful tomorrow, they help themselves and their peers to develop a more tolerant state of mind and respect for each other.

Their presentations also reinforce the importance of remembering the “golden rule” in our daily lives.

She also remarked that every participant in the visions of peace initiative becomes a much needed ambassador for peace as they bring their vision and understanding of the “golden rule” into their homes, schools, and community and hoped that the gathering at the special breakfast will be inspired by the young individuals and everyone will commit to embracing the Golden Rule and joining the Visions of Peace Initiative in the continuing effort to promote a more peaceful tomorrow… wherever we are and with whomever we engage.

Her Excellency, Ambassador Prof (Mrs) Olufolake Abdulrazaq, First Lady of Kwara State and Chair of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum who delivered the Breakfast Address on the role of the girl child and women in diplomacy saluted the commitment of the gathering to acknowledge and promote the vital role of women in achieving and sustaining peace in the global space.

She stated that the critical contributions of women to shaping the multilateral system and their indispensable role in diplomacy cannot be over emphasized and the breakfast presented the avenue to acknowledge the impact of women diplomats who have negotiated peace agreements and strengthened international relations- in hope also to inspire the next generation of women (now Girl child) to pursue diplomacy as a career path.

She reiterated that the participation of women, on equal terms with men and at all levels of decision-making, is essential to the achievement of enviable international relations, sustainable development, peace and democracy.

Abdulrazaq stated further that “while we recognize and celebrate these trailblazers we should as a collective, sustain advocacies on the fact that there are still structural issues that impede the promotion of women to senior roles within their ministries of foreign affairs and draw attention to the persistent underrepresentation of women in senior diplomatic positions, pinpoint challenges that women in diplomacy face and discuss barriers that still need to be removed.”

Her Excellency also commended the unwavering commitment and sacrifices of members of the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum, who were well represented, in their drive to ensure that an equitable world is realizable through their several initiatives that promote peace, gender equality, healthcare, and women empowerment within Nigeria in recognition of the pivotal role women play as drivers of social change.

She added that “The world today has a unique opportunity to move from marginal changes to transformative redevelopment. Using decentralized models of growth, building on opportunities provided by digitalization and artificial intelligence could ensure climate-friendly sustainable development with a more equitable distribution of wealth and going forward a new normal that is driven by the voices of women and girls, supported by governments and aid agencies should be amplified so as to bear in our consciousness the role of women and girls not only in diplomacy but also as agents of change and the need to systemically and meaningfully integrate them in consultations and decision-making.“

In closing, Ambassador Abdulrazaq stated that “it is only through this and collective, intergenerational and sustained action and investments in the girl child that we can truly transform the status of women and endear them to pursuing a career in diplomacy to join the incredible women and men who work tirelessly every day to build a more peaceful world.

Together, we can create a future where peace reigns supreme, and the potential of every individual, regardless of gender, is fully realized and hope this International Ladies Peace Power Breakfast Program will mark the dawn of a new era of peace and collaborations.”

The goodwill message was delivered by Her Excellency Ambassadrice Theresa Tommo, spouse to Cameroon’s Permanent Rep to the UN who described Queen Angelique-Monet as a personality that constitutes a source of inspiration and blessings to her and who she had learned so much from in regard to her care and dedication to children, women, the needy, disadvantaged ones, the poor and the most marginalized so as to ensure no one was left behind and emphasized that it was exactly what the United Nations was all about.

She stated further that Happiness should be a global attainment not just as individual success and believed that everyone was looking forward to achieving a state of mind where the world would be a better place and truly a global village. 

In her royal greetings, the Patron of the International Peace Power Breakfast and Founder of New Generation In Action’s AFI World Peace Initiative, Her Royal Majesty Queen Angelique-Monet Gureje-Thompson welcomed the guests to the United Nations in her traditional medley of Native American and African-American spirituals and stated why an intimate power breakfast was very critical and key to helping address the several issues across the world.

“Today we are all blessed to be able to make positive impact to the world and it is important at this breakfast that everyone freely enjoys themselves and celebrate one another as a New Generation of change makers willing and able to put in the work to make this world a better place as like-minded individuals who will also continue to encourage each other.”

Queen Angelique-Monet stated further that “in the end, we are all one and what makes us unique is our culture but most importantly what brought everyone together today was love and the fact we want to spread this love across the world.”

She added that it was wonderful to host the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum and other distinguished ladies who are also working hard in their respective states to make Nigeria and the world a better place through the work being done with youths and girls and that her NGO was working hard to provide additional resources and avenues of support. Queen Angelique-Monet then further described the work she was doing with her husband, His Royal Majesty Oba Dokun Thompson, who also graced the event with his presence as Royal Father of the day.

She reiterated the importance of the cocoa renaissance initiative that was already having global impact which led some NGIA youth leaders, Antonella Cueva and Joshua Holtzman to take interest and learn more about their cocoa producing origins in Ecuador and used their arts career to make their first film centred around cocoa farmers in Ecuador, the history of cocoa in Ecuador and Cuevas family cocoa plantation showcasing the strategic importance of film and citizen journalism.

Also, in attendance at the high level event were Their Excellencies, First ladies of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Imo, Enugu and Abia states, Her Excellency Ambassadrice Theresa Tommo, spouse to Cameroon’s Permanent Rep to the UN, Her Excellency Mrs. Cecilia Milambo, spouse to Zambian Permanent Representative at the UN and members of the UN diplomatic mission, the entertainment community, civil society groups, entrepreneurs including Chief Kola Karim, Dr. Uwen Esiet, the academia – Prof Kark Bardosh of NYU amongst other distinguished personalities.

1 thought on “Osun Monarch’s Wife, Queen Angelique-Monet-Gureje-Thompson Hosts Delegation of Wives of Nigerian Governors, African Permanent Missions During the 78th UN General Assembly

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