On 17th of July 2019, Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN’s Youth Envoy, visited the Security Council on Wednesday with a simple message “young people care about peace.” She said especially young women can be labelled on a “small minority” easily. These stereotypes and myths skew young people’s full potential for peace. The fact is that most young people are in fact not involved in violence.
“In the past months I have noticed with grave concern, incidents of young peacebuilders and young human rights defenders being subjected to threats, intimidation, violence, arbitrary arrest and retaliation by State and non-State Actors.” She emphasized the need to protect these young peacebuilders.
She reminded the Council that the Youth, Peace and Security agenda is being recognized and institutionalized within the UN as “core” to the Organization’s priorities for young people. So, the UN Youth Strategy, Youth 2030, will promote an environment that recognizes young people’s important and positive contributions to peace and security, while creating safe spaces and expanding opportunities for young people.
I totally agree with her. Young people have enormous potential. Protect them and help them grow tremendously. There’s something she and the young men of the United Nations are pushing now, and I think it’s so good that I’d like to introduce it. #Youth4Peace #Youth2030
We Are Here, We Are One
At the First International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes, which was held last March in Finland, the youth envoy officially launched the policy paper “WE ARE HERE: An Integrated Approach to Youth-Inclusive Peace Processes.” (Here)
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said “It analyses how young people can influence such efforts using diverse and innovative approaches. Around the world, young women and men are striving for justice, inclusion, gender equality and human rights. We must make the most of their power as drivers of a culture of peace.”
Ms. Wickramanayake said “I hope this is the beginning of a process… for concrete actions to bring peace. Sustainable peace must be democratized to include the communities most affected. Young people are our best chance in succeeding at that.”
International Youth Peace Movement
In the last two decades, over 1,000 peace agreements have been signed globally. It is estimated that 408 million youth live in a state or province affected by armed conflict. The co-authors, Ali Altiok and Irena Grizelj, said “No comprehensive studies have assessed the role and impact of young people in these peace agreements. This paper takes the first step towards providing emerging evidence that youth inclusion in peace processes can yield positive results.”
All we need for ‘We Are Here’
is ‘We Are One’
I’m reading this paper. Looking at it, I feel confident that peace can be achieved. How? Only, it would be necessary for all of us to work together as one. All we need for ‘We Are Here’ is ‘We Are One’. I also remember International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), a youth peace organization that is emerging most recently. It is a subsidiary organization of HWPL, international peace NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and the UN DGC.
IPYG shouts “We Are One!!!”
IPYG, which represents 1.8 billion young people, is affiliated with 805 organizations of 110 countries. The number of total members is 4,600,000. In IPYG Peace Letter Campaign, youth of 23 countries have participated and the handwritten peace letters have been delivered to 9 former/current presidents and prime ministers in 8 countries.
On 14th of March 2019, all youth of the world had sent to their respective President or Prime Minister in 192 countries with the expectation of a response from these heads of state. On 25th of May 2019, the “6th IPYG Peace Walk” was held in around 126 locations in 77 countries around the world, including Australia, China, Germany, India, Russia, South Africa, the Philippines, and United States of America. (What is Peace Walk?) There is enthusiastic support from young people all over the world, and this huge flow is unstoppable.
These young people are now doing all they can to get the DPCW, the best international law to put an end to the war, to the U.N. (What is DPCW?) Like UN Youth Envoy, the world is full of young people of passion for peace. Their potential can never be ignored. If all the peace groups of each country come together, and all of them shout in one voice, which country can start a war? No one will suffer any more.