UN70 Peace and Sustainable Development Youth Programme serves as a platform for local and overseas youths to deepen the understanding of UNESCO’s core mission, global peace and sustainable development while celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, with support from consulates general, chambers of commerce, national tourism boards, community organizations and education institutions.
Peace Programme Objectives
To promote cultural diversity, tolerance, intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, and respect for different traditions and customs
To bring local and international schools together to work for peace
To support school curriculum demands in the IB and DSE systems
To promote in students positive values and attitudes, and be informed and responsible citizens
5 Aspects of Peace
Written by: Vickie Yau
Peace and the individual
Cultivation of self is considered the key to order and peace at home and in the greater society (The Great Learning, Book of Rites). Cultivation of self starts with education that develops our knowledge, understanding and skills. More importantly, education extends to cultivating values and character that implicates the well-being of ourselves and others, through the ways of communication, mindset and attitude, decisions and actions. We must first learn to understand ourselves, our purpose and vision of peace. Second, we must realize our ability to make an impact and act upon it. Focus on what we can do and no deed is too big or too small. In daily life, we can cultivate peace within ourselves that involves others. We should only bear kind thoughts, speak kindly, and act with considerations of others. This includes the creatures and resources in nature, and infrastructures and materials we have created in the world. Knowledge is what empowers us to act more conscientiously.
Learn to act as a Peacemaker. It is our duty and responsibility to maintain and preserve peace for all.
Act as a model and influence others to be a Peacemaker.
Commit to act, participate, and contribute to everyday peace.
Peace across cultures, peace through cultures
Cultures are shared meanings, values, attitudes, perspectives and beliefs among groups of individuals in a social context. Cultures are not innate to being human, but are nurtured through our community and society. As such, we are influenced by our environment, but we can also influence our cultures if we become agents of culture. This can be achieved through learning about other cultures and by welcoming others to learn about our own cultures. In this globalized world, we must foster understanding, inclusiveness and respect of cultural differences and embrace diversity. To begin with, we must first understand our own culture and society, learn about others, and be open minded and accepting of other cultures. Find commonalities and a unifying vision that all cultures can embrace and strive towards.
Preservation and respect of differences, multiple cultures and perspectives enrich our lives. As cultures are shared meanings and values, let peace be the culture that unites us all.
Peace in society and community
We are social beings, and a society functions as a whole with each of us playing a role as citizens and as social members of our communities. We must first be responsible to do our part for a harmonious society, that being, act as a person with integrity and righteousness, and with the well-being of others in our mind. Founding on the basis of being just and kind, we must realize we work together in a society and we must overcome challenges and adversities together in order for our society to progress. Progress and success must be realized with respect for limitations of natural resources, environmental and economic capacities. Progress and success is when all of us in our society and others whom we rely on are all in an advanced position.
Be mindful of one’s roles and responsibilities as members of the society and do our part. Collectively, we can achieve greater things than we can by ourselves.
Advocacy for peace for all
Think globally, act locally, to create world peace. As peace is often understood in the political context of conflict, violence and war, our contribution and ability to maintain and promote political peace may become alienated from our daily lives as a lot of us have been very privileged to be in a war-free zone. Peace is not given and should never be taken for granted. Conflict and violence do not happen without causality, and can be prevented and mitigated. We contribute to political conflict and violence when we tolerate acts of injustice, verbal attacks, and resistance to resolve situations that threaten stability and peace. Negotiation and mediation must consider an equitable and just resolution where all stakeholders can be better off. In order for our society to advance and to attain peace for all, we cannot, and must not tolerate injustice and violation of human rights, and we must fight for the rights to education, food and water, health care, and gender equality for all.
In our day-to-day life, we must uphold principles and beliefs that peace can only be founded upon partnership. Be a peacemaker by preserving harmony and unity.
Preservation of ecology and peace
We share one planet with limited resources available. As we are challenged by climate change, melting glaciers, catastrophic disasters and the likes, all of these have an immense impact on each and every one of us. Much of our daily life contribute to climate change as our consumption, pollution and carbon emission disrupts nature’s ability to reverse and regenerate. As we can readily understand and observe, droughts and floods affect agriculture and livestocks in the region and threatens livelihood in the area. Furthermore, temperature in the ocean has been fluctuating and affects the life cycles and reproduction of many oceanic life forms that are critical to ecology and to human. As glaciers melt and causes water level to rise, coastal shorelines retreat forcing people along the coast to relocate. These briefly mentioned facts are only the tip of an iceberg with laden implications on a chain of effects.
As we have the intelligence to build and develop on this planet, we have the ability to find solutions for sustainable development. Start by being conscious of our day-to-day action in a holistic manner. Start by reducing our use of energy, water, materials, and food to minimize waste. Make a small change every day.
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