A short navigation through the role of young people into achieving peace and stability in the region


A short navigation through the role of young people into achieving peace and stability in the region

A short navigation through the role of young people into achieving peace and stability in the region

March 7, 2024

Conclusion Time. Time is a notion, a concept that either heals, either deepens the wounds. The past is still fresh, and the events that took place - for many - is still a bad dream, a nightmare. If time was a rope, it would be a rubber band, that keeps stretching and stretching, but it will come a moment where one must let go, then it will all come back and hurt even more. On a more practical aspect, I'd say that making peace with yourself is the catalyst of a bigger change.

Taking stock. It literally means to think carefully of something. Why would I mention this? Following the analogy of the paragraph above, many young people fall under the influence of acutely rooted hate, through different narratives (where everyone is the victim) continuing a legacy of violence and conflict. This should be the moment where every young person takes stock and through a deep breath the reflection and reasoning take place. Although younger by age, youth can be the bigger person.

Examples. When I Googled this word, it gave me this meaning: "a particular situation, object, or person which shows that what is being claimed is true". If it weren't for French and German young people, the regions would to this day be in conflict. The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), "the most beautiful child of the Elysee Treaty" has brought together more than ten million young people - they have exchanged in more than 380,000 programmes. Between WB6, RYCO is the organization that is working towards bringing together young people, exchanging, sharing experiences and learning.

Collective paranoia. A neighbor of mine used to be very, very thrilled. He used to say that communism will come back and everything will go back to as it was. He wasn't scared, no, he loved communism and with his "enlightening" ideas he had gathered a group of people - a collection of the same idealization: communism - and they used to spread this information. This affected other people as well, and everyone started becoming very paranoiac, nobody but them wanted dictatorship to come back. The same thing is happening with war as well, although it has erupted in different societies throughout the world, there is a lot of work happening into maintaining peace and stability in our region, therefore young people should always be aware that they are (have always been) the key. We must not let this collective paranoia spread, as it's only going to bring back unhealthy memories and it's going to affect in an unhealthy way.

Innovation. Introducing a new idea, tool, design or method. Thankfully there are more opportunities nowadays, the massive use of social media plays a crucial role into amplifying the voice of young people. As shown, youth can always come up with new, fresh approaches towards peacebuilding. One being a content creator, one being a writer, one being a diplomat, it is up to young people to create initiatives, raise awareness, promote dialogue and show that they are the most important stakeholders.

Education. Nelson Mandela once said: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". It plays a pivotal role in nurturing peace, advancing dialogue and preventing conflict. I recently saw a video, where young people in Japan didn't even know that an atomic bomb was used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If we are talking about education as "forgetting the past" are we growing the right generations? My opinion is that the history should not be forgotten, we should be objective and the aim is to grow future generations with examples they should not take! Encouraging a culture of peace within schools, would mean to empower further generations into being righteous and active contributors to societal harmony.

To conclude, young people are the key actors into achieving peace and stability in the region. Their commitment, energy, creativity, potential and persistency are more than enough to grasp the aspirations of the past, present and future, heading towards a journey of endeavors rooted in the timeless quest for truth, connection, wisdom, and imagination. Young people inspire others to join them in the pursuit of a shared vision for a better world. And I have a question: should we waste any more time?

  Author: Stiven Domi 
*Youth, Peace and Security Agenda is all about mainstreaming youth opinion and participation in policy and peace dialogs. As a supporter of the YPS Agenda in the region, RYCO provides the space for youth to express their opinions and solutions for sustainable peace. However, views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the RYCO. Neither the RYCO nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.