MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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Last month, we published Nathan Gbelee’s definition of peace as “the ability to live without fear of yourself, your peers, community dwellers and others.” This week’s article will focus on his analysis of the Amman Declaration on young people’s participation in peace building and security programs.

Amman Declaration – A Review by Nathan N. Gbelee
The most important part of this Declaration is found in Section 1 of the Guiding Principles on young people, which talks about youth participation and leadership in issues of peace and security.

Promoting the participation of young people in peace and security issues remains an important condition for successful peace building efforts. This is because young people are energetic, passionate and could be highly engaged in transforming conflict, countering violence and building peace.

Consequently, the need for the meaningful involvement and active participation of youth is a matter of must and a necessity for the growth and development of Liberia.

It is my strong opinion that government buying in through youth engagement should be encouraged. The establishment of Bills and the passing of resolutions on youth, peace and security are appropriate options to recognize the role of young people and institutionalizing their participation at all levels.

Based on these necessities, we call on governments and the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on youth, peace and security. The Amman Declaration presents a crystal clear and common vision and roadmap towards a policy framework to support young people in transforming conflicts, preventing and countering violence and building sustainable peace.

The Amman Declaration should be a working tool and a guide to include youth participation and leadership in issues of peace and security, prevention of youth from violence, getting youth involved in building peace, improve gender equality and lastly, for young people’s socioeconomic empowerment.

In terms of differences that will be made by this Declaration, it is my contention that young people will vehemently and vigorously say without a doubt that this Declaration will reinforce the many efforts of young people, civil society organizations, local authorities and national governments exerted towards youth participation and leadership in issues of peace and security.

The Amman Declaration will also ensure the socioeconomic empowerment of young people through their involvement in the prevention of violence and contribution to peace building. It would promote stability, inclusiveness and sustainable peace in the country.
To build a broad-based peace and security program, we need to invest in young people and tap into their creativity, energy and strengths. As young people, we have a responsibility to protect the next generation. According to Albert Einstein, “It is impossible to solve significant problems using the same level of knowledge that created them.”
To deal with 21st Century crises, we need young people to evolve, and the Amman Declaration has provided us with the right platform to do so.
Until next week, when we come back to you with another review of the Amman Declaration from the perspective of a young peace messenger, peace first! And may peace prevail in our time.

Youth, Peace and Security!
The Amman Declaration was signed by youths from around the world on August 22, 2015, in Amman, Jordan, with the promise to live in a peaceful global society

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