How can we stand the wave of intolerance and conflict around the world today? How can we lay still when over one billion people live in conflict affected and fragile states? How can we stomach the gory tales of despair, death and dying arising from war-torn cities as showcased on every known news channel? And, how can we remain passive while we watch young people, like you and I, live in fear, chaos, poverty, and perpetual danger because of intolerance in our world today?
Although the world may look at us, young people, as fragile and badly bruised by the consequences of society’s ill, we are not as fragile as they may think. Look around, evil is recruiting young people, like you and I, as child soldiers, mobsters, and killers. If young people can be used as instruments of evil –how much more good can we bring to the world when we are taught and recruited for peace, tolerance, and non-violent conflict resolution.
We are reliable, and because we are –the comity of nations owe it to our generation to prepare young people today to be part of the process of change. We have in us what it takes. Young people are a force for action. Our energies are at the service of humanity –whether for mischief or for bad, whether for peace or for good –every young person is bursting with an energy that needs expression. What better way than for peace, tolerance, and non-violent conflict resolution?
But how can we know what to do except we understand the dynamics of peace building and non-violent conflict resolution. We need to know our role in the scheme of things. Energy alone will not do. Energy without direction is a colossal waste of resource. Our energies must be directed into creative activities that deliver effective contributions towards promoting peaceful spaces, peaceful coexistence, and peaceful collaborations for the ultimate aim of building a world free of fear, intolerance, and conflict.
And, how else can we be taught except through the introduction, indoctrination, and initiations of peace building concepts, curriculum, programs, and events into every institution of learning, and youth centered spaces –whether formal or informal. This is the reason we have schools, clubs, intervention programs, and advocacy efforts of civil society. Young people must be armed for the collective objective of winning the war for peace on every continent of the world.
We must be taught to how to identify prejudices, racism, sexism, classism, intolerances, and signs of brewing conflict both at micro and macros levels. We must be taught how to neutralize the identified sparks of prejudices, those awful isms, and conflict –beginning from within our school systems, among our peer groups, and at the larger societies wherever we interact.
We must learn the language of peace. Young people must be challenged and prepared to communicate for peace. Through active online activities via social media, young people can find their stand and own it. Young people can find voice and amplify that voice. The opportunities are endless, but we must start from somewhere.
For some of us, LARSSMUN 2019 is our somewhere. This gathering of young people. This conference. This place. This is where many of us must find our stand and own. This is where you find your voice and amplify that voice. This is the place.