When I first heard about the Peace Revolution Summit’s International Peacebuilder Award, I knew that I had to nominate the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY Peacebuilders), an organization that I had engaged with and grown to love throughout the last decade.
UNOY Peacebuilders is an international network of youth organizations that conduct youth-driven peacebuilding initiatives. This network, whose International Secretariat is located in The Hague, is made up of 70 youth organizations (across 45 countries) working hard to make the world a better, more peaceful place. Through projects, forums, training/workshops and the publication of multiple toolkits, manuals, and youth narratives, UNOY Peacebuilders has done amazing work in regards to peace education, gender mainstreaming, empowerment, capacity building, and advocacy.
If there is one thing that proves how much UNOY Peacebuilders deserves the International Peacebuilder Award, it is the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security. After years of sending a Youth Advocacy Team (YAT) to the UN for week-long advocacy missions, organizing many side-events to promote the importance of youth participation in peacebuilding, and representing its members at various forums and conferences, UNOY’s efforts culminated in the adoption of this historic UNSC resolution, which is the first time the UN has recognized the indispensable role that young people can play in conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and countering violence.
Having been part of many UNOY initiatives and a member of the International Steering Committee, I have made many dear friends through this network. And sometimes, especially when I meditate, I remember these dear friends from across the world and tap into the energy of peace that they project through their work and dedication. There is something very powerful about knowing so many young activists who are playing their role in building peace in such a passionate and professional manner, and by tapping into this energy, not only can inner peace be found, but also the hope that we can live in a better, peaceful world is reignited even with the constant reminders that we are indeed living in a world of extreme violence.
In the next 2-3 years, I believe UNOY will be doing amazing things when it comes to the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2250. With such a professional and transparent youth-driven network, I believe the world will indeed become a better place.
Have you done something to make a positive difference in your community or country or worldwide? Do you believe that peace starts from each individual’s own inner peace, empowerment and self-development? This is the time to get the recognition for your good work. Any individual or organization with an interest to share and promote the idea of inner peace is encouraged to nominate. To nominate an organization, CLICK HERE. To nominate an individual, CLICK HERE. The application deadline is 31 August 2016.
Image by UNOY Peacebuilders
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