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Organization: United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY)
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

We have seen progress since 2000 which is reflected in the number of new activities and organisations involved. Of particular importance we consider the involvement of organisations which do not traditional work on this issue, for example, students associations and clubs in secondary schools and universities and religious organisations.

To Jan. 2005 we have 232 active members in Africa, 102 in other parts of the world and 252 associated members (who are either older than 30 and only want to receive our Newsletter and periodic updates)

We have not developed indicators, we are trying to keep track of the number and type of actions in our Projects Bank. We have also started in 2004 a research project to develop criteria to identify best practices in youth peace work.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

The main obstacles we have faced and are facing are:

1. Lack of coordination among all institutions and actors involved.

2. Leadership of the Decade is not determined enough. More
efforts need to be made by UNESCO. Although we understand limitations in resources.

3. Difficulties in partnership building. We have not learnt to work together. We need to develop a sense of common project, building up on everyone´s strengths and not fearing competition.

4. Lack of resources. We had difficulties fundraising for our Campaign.

5. Lack of planning and measurable goals. How will we know if we have advanced a culture of peace? Despite the difficulty in Social Sciences to develop indicators, and that we cannot measure so easily changes in attitudes, we could develop some "graspable" changes in institutions, laws, curriculums,  funds to be allocated to training, peace libraries, research.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

As we are a network of youth organisations, we started the "Peace It Together" Campaign. The campaign is action-based and encourages the sharing of knowledge, skills and experiences to promote active non-violence as an effective approach in building a Culture of Peace.

The campaign builds on the commitment and potential of youth. It empowers them to create partnerships and to work with organisations, the UN, the Media and governments to develop actions in the context of the 2001-2010 International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

Activities of the campaign have included

1) the development of a toolkit in English, French and Spanish with practical ideas on how to plan campaign activities and training workshops, backgroung on what a Culture of Peace is and an on-line Resource Centre

Get IT Started On how to start a project on advocacy and/or peace education in the context of the
Get IT Started With On how to develop alternatives to violence in fruitful partnerships
Go For IT On how to plan, evaluate, and fundraise for a project.
Say IT On how to plan events and publicise your activities.
Get To Know IT Background information on Peace, Key actors in Peacebuilding, a Glossary and other useful information.

2) On-line training seminars, youth gatherings, training sessions and international conferences 3) development of a webpage where young people can discuss, get informed and submit their projects into a Project Bank. 4) a Monthly Newsletter.

The idea is to collect as many youth peace actions as possible in support of the Decade. This would contribute to the motivation of young people with the message: we are many people working for a Culture of Peace! and would give visibility to actions already developed by young people and help develop their potential as change makers.

To Jan. 2005 we have 232 active members in Africa, 102 in other parts of the world and 252 associated members (who are either older than 30 and only want to receive our Newsletter and periodic updates)

* Brief list of Activities 2000 -2004

Inspired by the success of its regional work in Eastern Europe, UNOY extended its work to empower local capacities for peace of committed youth in Africa.

In 2001, the UNOY African Youth for a Culture of Peace Training Conference in South Africa,held from 30 June – 7 July 2001, gathered 90 young activists (aged 17-30) from all regions of Africa. As a result of this Conference, the African Network of Young Peacebuilders was created setting working groups and starting the organisation of regional and national activities.

In 2002, the African Young Peace Builders Training seminar took place in Cotonou, Benin (November 9-16), as well as the National training conference on a Culture of Peace, Networking and NGO/Project management in Freetown, Sierra Leone (December 14-21) and a number of other projects, carried out at the local level.

UNOY organises the annual African Students Conferences at the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands. The last of these conferences versed on Building Peace in Africa: NePAD and the Challenges for Peace (20 September, 2003) and Youth Building Peace in Africa, Inclusion, Empowerment and Action (October 2nd, 2004)

In 2004, we have organised an on-line training course "Youth Transforming Conflict" with The Network University and a West Africa training seminar in Freetown, Sierra Leone where 40 young peacebuilders participated. (April 2004)

For more information and full reports: visit www.unoy.org
or contact us: info@unoy.org

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

As the UNESCO charter states: since wars start in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defense for peace must be constructed. We would like to add to that: therefore, it is especially in the minds of the young we must plant the seeds of peace to grow into a culture of peace and non-violence.

Therefore the creativity, ideals and actions of young people should be respected, empowered and supported at all levels. We especially recommend that the UNESCO's national chapters, but also national and local governments and funding agents support the young people committed to build a culture of peace.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

--We are a network of youth organisations, so our mission is to link up initiatives, facilitating the information flow, contributing with training and resources when possible to empower youth local capacities for peace. We seek to promote horizontal self-help networks and partnerships.

In specific projects we have partnered with:
The Network University - University of Amsterdam - University of Utrecht - Institute of Social Studies - The African Committee (The Netherlands), Oxfam International Youth Parliament (Australia), Youth Network of Peacebuilding (Spain)
Hague Appeal for Peace (US).

Other Networks: Students Forum 2000, Educating Cities, Life-Link Friendship Schools, La Red Joven.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

We plan to continue with our Campaign until 2010. We would be very much interested in seeing a youth representative at a Decade evaluation meeting for him/her to present what young people have done and to hear their opinion, since they will be responsible for carrying on the actions.
We will keep collecting actions in our Project Bank, developing materials and gathering young people to meet, discuss, get trained and plan.
We started fundraising for a Global Youth Conference to be held again in the Peace Palace in The Hague for a mid-way evaluation but fundraising has been extremely difficult.

Postal address of organization

UNOY Peacebuilders
Javastraat 58
2585 AR The Hague
Netherlands
Tel: +31.70.3647799
Fax: +31.70.3622633

E-mail address of organization

coordinator@unoy.org

Website address of organization

www.unoy.org

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a Culture of Peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Understanding, tolerance, solidarity

Highest priority country of action (or international)

International

Second priority country of action (or international)

Africa
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Organization: United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY)

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