Youth as Agents of Peace
The Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO introduces in Jakarta a new initiative of Indonesia’s Youth Peace Ambassadors alumni, Jakarta 21 June 2013
On 21 June 2013 UNESCO Jakarta Office opened the workshop ‘Youth as an Agent of Peace’, organized as a follow up action by Youth Peace Ambassadors alumni from Indonesia and supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The workshop counted with the participation of junior high school students from 13 schools from different parts of Indonesia.
The meeting -whose objective was to discuss challenges Indonesian youth will face- addressed important issues such as violence, discrimination, religious intolerance, and inequalities. The meeting was opened by Mr. Daniel Ruiz de Garibay, Assistant Programme Specialist at UNESCO Office in Jakarta who reminded the audience that the constitutional mandate of UNESCO involves the encouragement of a global culture of peace.
Prof. Dr. Arief Rachman, Executive Chairman of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO, introduced the audience to the fundamental principles of peace education and intercultural tolerance. In a current period of accelerated change marked by the expression of intolerance, manifestations of racial and ethnic hatred, discrimination, and violence towards those regarded as 'others' and the growing disparities between rich and poor, at international and national levels these principles are essential to create a culture of peace.
No society is immune to violence and inequalities but those who would be able to build a culture of peace would face these problems easily. This requires actions and strategies aimed both at ensuring fundamental freedoms, peace, human rights, and democracy and at promoting sustainable and equitable economic and social development all of which have an essential part to play in building a culture of peace. The starting point is to consider youth as the solution and not as the problem. It is vital that they are fully engaged in social change towards sustainable peace and societies.
In this vein, UNESCO Office Jakarta has been advocating for the importance of working with and for youth - including the most vulnerable and marginalized - as beneficiaries, actors and partners with the objective to provide them with the skills and opportunities to be agents of change, peace and sustainable development. In the past months UNESCO Jakarta has build the capacity of young women and men, members of grass-roots youth organizations on youth leadership, and community engagement. UNESCO-Jakarta has supported youth-led projects currently under development in 16 provinces across Indonesia and five interfaith dialogues among the official religions in the country.
For more information, please read UNESCO Jakarta report on Civic Engagement and Social Inclusion of Youth in Indonesia here
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