"Peace within African states must rest only on justice, tolerance, permanent dialogue, respect for the human person and his dignity, respect for freedoms, equality among all people. But if the absence of dialogue means the contempt of man, the confiscation of freedoms, arbitrary judgments, summary executions, it can have no other consequences than to provoke oppositions decided to try everything in order to overthrow these regimes oppression."
Félix Houphouët-Boigny at the 8th OAU Summit at Addis-Adaba on June 22, 1971
Peace is a complex notion that can not be summed up in the commonly accepted reductive images. It requires an in-depth reflection that President Félix Houphouët-Boigny has helped to develop.
Peace is not just the opposite of war. It is more positively, internal balance of man, balance within each nation, balance among nations. It must therefore take place simultaneously at the international, national and individual levels. It is linked to the values of justice, democracy, tolerance, human rights and the rights of peoples.
"Peace is not a word but a behavior." Said the Ivorian leader. In other words, peace can not be effective without a transformation of attitudes, values, behavior, both individual and collective. And if humanity can be non-violent, it will always have some conflictual aspect that peace behavior must manage other than by means of aggressiveness and violence. Finally, development is linked to peace because nations are today interdependent and the misfortunes of some are also the misfortunes of others.