Youth delegates from all over the world discuss peace and security at the OSCE-wide Youth Forum in Bratislava

The OSCE-wide Youth Forum was held at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovakia on October 28-29th, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The Forum invited youth delegates from different countries to bring diverse perspectives to the discussions on the topics of education, new technology, peacebuilding, rule of law, environment and energy, and security and human rights.

  

Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler featured as a keynote speaker, and Communications Officer Minji Kwag attended the Forum as a youth delegate from South Korea.

Delivering a welcome remark, Miroslav Lajčák, Foreign Minister of Slovakia and former President of the UNGA, emphasized:

“You are not here to listen to us; we are here to listen to you.”

He said that “excluding young people does not make any sense” because “it is the young people who are driving the changes we all need.”

He added that youth engagement is smart, effective, and necessary.

OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger introduced the OSCE Youth Ambassadors who helped to form this youth forum, an upcoming side event of the OSCE in Vienna for December 2019, and Albania’s OSCE Chairmanship that will succeed the Slovak Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2020.

  

“What are the main challenges?” “How can societies cooperate?”

Raising critical questions for the youth participants to draw on to seek for solutions, Greminger said:

“Together you would come up with great idea in out-of-the-box approaches.”

The UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake also shared her remark and words of encouragement in her video message:

“I encourage all of you to bring forward your ideas and possible solutions!”

As a keynote speaker, BKMC CEO Froehler presented the current status quo of the peace and security issues in the OSCE region as well as other regions in armed conflicts and mentioned about the existing peace-building movements and initiatives by youth.

“Safer future, what does it mean?

  

Acknowledging that peace, security, and safe future may have different meanings in different contexts, Froehler shared her hope that youth can make the change.

“You are the 50% of humankind. Youth need to rise to be the generation for being great.”

She said that the world has never been as educated as we are today and that we should see youth as “equal partners” and empower them to be “co-creators for these solutions.”

  

At the discussion table, BKMC Communications Officer Minji Kwag made a statement that South Korea could make a remarkable development within a short period of time thanks to the great support given by other countries and the international community.

Kwag said that it is crucial to ensure the sustainability of the development and that the country needs to give back to the world what it has received from them.

“Every one of us should regard ourselves as a global citizen and view the world as a globally shared village regardless of our age, gender, nationality, religion, and all the other aspects that each of our small societies has defined us with.”

In conclusion, Kwag quoted BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations Secretary-General:

“Be a global citizen; Act with passion and compassion.”

 

Our Present – Our Future: Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion

Young people under the age of 30 accounts for over half of the world’s population. Connected to each other like never before, young people have the capacity to learn from one another’s contributions to the resilience of their communities, proposing innovative solutions, driving social progress and inspiring political change. They are also agents of change, mobilizing to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the lives of people and the health of the planet.

The Youth Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion for the SDGs Peace and Security held at the CTBT Science & Technology Conference on June 24 emphasized yet again that multilateralism must include the younger generations to foster sustainable solutions to complex global challenges.

The Forum formed an integral part of the landmark conference. After welcome remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, Dr Heinz Fischer was asked to deliver a special address, encouraging the young audience to be changemakers:

Dear friends,

Dear next generation,

Unless we raise our eyes above the horizon and take action now, we are facing a climate catastrophe.

Unless we reduce inequalities between and within countries, and reduce nationalism and xenophobia, we will risk war.

So please challenge your leaders, your friends, your colleagues – and even yourselves.

Inspire those around you to care about the world we share.

We should not forget that you are not only the future, you are the present!

Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-moon Centre, moderated an interactive panel discussion of young leaders who addressed the challenges they had faced to promote change and shared their insights about youth platforms that work to include young voices in the discussions.

The Forum encouraged active participation by the audience through an interactive online presentation. Through several surveys, the audience was able to share their opinion, make statements, ask questions, and tell a bit about themselves.

Find the results from the online presentation-survey here:

  

“Partnering with Young People for Prevention: Sustaining Peace and Addressing Violence, Crime and Corruption”

On June 12th, 2019, the 49th IPI Vienna Seminar took place at the Federal Ministry of Austria for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) in Vienna, focusing on the role of young people as agents of peace and social change at the global, regional, national and local level.

Welcome remarks were delivered by Karin Proidl, Director of International Organizations at the BMEIA and Adam Lupel, Vice President of the International Peace Institute (IPI), who stressed the importance of cooperating with youth for addressing violence, crime and corruption and promoting peace.

“We need to give young people face from different levels and make their voices heard,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at the first session on “The United Nations in Vienna: 40 years of Promoting Peace and Security.”

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Out of these, Froehler mentioned, “408 million young people live in conflict zones.” In addition, within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Froehler rightly pointed out that gender inequality adds to the barrier for youth in participating in peace-building process, which is why empowering both women and young people is equally important.

“We cannot achieve sustainable peace if young generation is not included,” said Samuel Goda, Special Representative of the OSCE CiO Special Representatives on Youth and Security, at his keynote. As a youth representative, he stressed “young people need to have ownership” in tackling global issues.

A number of other youth representatives from different sectors spoke at the seminar, including Nour Barakeh who is Collaborator of SDG 5 Thrive! and Suad Mohamed who serves at the Austrian Red Cross and Diakonie Refugee Service.

Froehler introduced active youth activists such as the UN Youth Envoy as well as existing youth initiatives such as the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to support and partner with them. She also strongly recommended a book titled We are Here.

Learn more about the seminar: https://www.ipinst.org/…/IPI-Vienna-Seminar-2019_Agenda_Par…
Source: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/EN-SWOP14-Report_FINAL-web.pdf
Outcome report and pictures: https://www.ipinst.org/2019/06/49th-ipi-vienna-seminar-partnering-with-young-people-for-prevention#3

Ban Ki-moon emphasizes on the importance of achieving peace through the sports

“Never in the past in my life have I seen together with all the people around the world, such excitement and hope that soon there will be peace and security, and even reunification on the Korean peninsula. That is the moment we witnessed the power of sports. Power of sports. Both South and North have been really trying to reconcile during last at least 3-4 decades, but during last February, we have really seen some moment of truth that one day soon, hopefully, that we will be able to reconcile and promote much better understanding and even reunify the Korean peninsula,” said Ban Ki-moon at the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As Chair of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, the Centre’s Co-chair Ban discussed the importance of achieving peace and the global goals through sports on the topic of the power of the Olympic truce with Journalist Sonali Prasad.

Dating back to 776 BC and the Ancient Olympic Games, the Olympic Truce was announced before the Olympic Games. The Olympic Truce was revived by the United Nations in 1993. Even under the most tense and volatile of circumstances, the Olympic Truce reaffirms that the Olympic values of peace, solidarity and respect are important across the world. Taking the most recent inspiring example of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Ban Ki-moon praised that the two Koreas and the IOC are working towards unity and that the values of Olympism have the power to unite a fractured world.

Co-chair Ban also emphasized on the importance of youth empowerment as “now more than half of the global population is under the age of 24. That means this world is much much younger … there are many young people whose opportunities are not given properly.” As many young people have already taken leadership roles today, Co-chair Ban mentioned that it is just a matter of empowering them and supporting what they have done as the youth are “equally qualified and equally intelligent.”

He said that there are still people suffering from hardships and discrimination due to their given circumstances:

“What is important at this time with all trans-formative development of technology and science and communication is only natural that we should be living in a world better for all, but there are still many people who are suffering from poverty, suffering from discrimination because of sex or because of social and economic status, because of ethnicities, etc.”

Watch the full conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FryWFa0VRuQ
Source: https://www.olympic.org/olympism-in-action/the-power-of-the-olympic-truce

 

Women Mediators Networks: Connecting for Inclusive Peace-making

As regional women mediator networks have emerged around the world, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution, and the Peace Research Institute Oslo organized a meeting with these networks from Africa, Mediterranean Sea, ASEAN and different regions of the world in Oslo, Norway in March 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre participated and learnt from the expertise of the OSCE, the EU, the UN DPA Mediation Support Unit and many others. The meeting was to discuss cooperation and the possible establishment of a global alliance of women mediators. Now a video on the importance of building a global network said by the women mediators is available online.

“If we connect all the mediating networks, we can pull resources; we can exchange best practices; we can reinforce each other.”

  • Magda Zenon, Mediterranean Women Mediators Network (MWMN)

“All of us are different levels of development, different levels of violence, and different levels of peace. Women have been working in isolation for a number of years, but now we are realizing that we should be working together. And having a network like this brings together the women from all works of life on the continent to bring about peace and security, and stability.”

  • Stella Sabiiti, FemWise-Africa

“I think the networks that have been created over the last few years are incredibly important, and the reason is that they are linking together with each other, they are sharing good practice and experience, but also they are building a movement. And that is about insuring that mediators and member states know that women have this experience. They have this impact, and we need to look at their access to this process.”

  • Nahla Valji, Senior Gender Advisor Executive Office of UN SG

“[It is important] that different networks know about each other and that you can use women from across the globe in different mediation efforts.”

  • Hilde Salvesen, Nordic Women Mediators

Source: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/WY5vWfNKYS/files/fi-0a8250db-ee49-43a4-8c04-f187a56fcda2/fv-fd4d1fcb-6caf-4ebb-82c4-be119ec41e1d/0610_Noref1_v6.mp4

Ban urges reinforcement of global citizenship and international collaboration for peace and prosperity in Asia at the Jeju Forum

Ban Ki-moon participated as a panelist and a keynote speaker in the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity held in Jeju, Korea on June 26-28, 2018. The forum was hosted by the Government of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.

The Jeju Forum is a regional multilateral dialogue where high-ranking public officials, experts, and world leaders gather to discuss and share future visions on how to approach sustainable peace and prosperity in Asia. For this year, “Reengineering Peace for Asia” was the theme for this 3-day forum as Asia has been facing an increasing array of security problems and challenges for the recent years.

The forum suggested that the task of re-engineering peace can be approached in the following ways:

  • to prioritize peace and prosperity in Asia
  • to energize the process of achieving and preserving peace and prosperity
  • to seek after Alternatives as new workable solutions
  • to seek Cooperation rather than competition or conflicts
  • to cultivate Eco-systems ripe for cooperative alternatives for peace and prosperity in Asia

At the Opening ceremony and World Leaders Session, Ban urged reinforcement of global citizenship, collaborative wisdom and cooperation between countries, and peaceful and harmonious way of denuclearization in North Korea. He also emphasized that there should be no more failure or repetition of the mistakes from the past.

Source & Photo: http://jejuforum.or.kr

UN Youth Envoy on Youth Empowerment in the Field of Peace and Security

Last week, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Envoy of the Secretary-General on Youth, along with two other young female speakers, Sofia Pierre-Antoine and Kessy Ekomo-Soignet, delivered inspiring speeches at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on youth empowerment in the field of peace and security. Ms. Wickramanayake emphasized how young people, especially young women are engaging themselves in active movement to lead changes in the field.

The UNSC announced the resolution 2250 which was the first international policy framework to recognize young people’s roles in conflict prevention and resolution, and peace building in 2015. In accordance with the UNSCR 2250, a Youth4Peace community has been putting power of young men and women together to promote and maintain international peace and security.

As three years have passed now, she points out there are still existing issues of “the growing mistrust from young generations towards former political institutions” and “the exclusion of young people from political, civic, and economic life.” In attempts to solve these issues, the youth envoy strongly asked the UN Security Council to broaden opportunities for young people to participate and contribute in the matter while at the same time working on reducing the mistrust between the youth, their governments, and the multilateral system.

She made three suggestions:

  1. Support, recognize, fund, scale up, and protect the peacebuilding of young people.
  2. Prioritize political participation for young people to be fully engaged.
  3. Partner to continue efforts and promote the youth’s activities.

Watch Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake’s speech at the UNSC 2018 here.

Source: https://www.youth4peace.info
Photo: UN Photo by Mark Garten