» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register :: Search :: Help ]

Click here to add a report from another organization.
new topic
Organization: United Network of Young Peacebuilders
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: Feb. 05 2010,10:03 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
in order to make changes in the report.

Postal address of organization/institution

Laan van Meerdervoort 70, 2517 AN, The Hague, The Netherlands

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

+31 (0)70 364 7799

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


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

- Euros voor Vrede
- Platform Vredescultuur
- Earth Charter
- One World
- People Buiding Peace Netherlands Neetwork.
- Taking it Global/ Global Youth Action Network

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

International Day of Peace
Every year during the second half of the Decade for a Culture of Peace, UNOY Peacebuilders and its members have celebrated the international day of peace.  Amongst the activities organised by UNOY Peacebuilders includes a music festival and a debate for young people in The Hague, attendance during a peace festival, launching of the international campaign on Violence against Children and Youth, painting of large collective peace paintings in front of the Peace Palace and collection of ‘messages of peace’ on the beach of The Hague. The International Day of Peace has been an occasion to celebrate the efforts done so far as well as to raise the awareness on the issue amongst the general public.  

UNOY International Day of Peace 2009

UNOY International Day of Peace 2007

Advocacy for a Culture of Peace
UNOY Peacebuilders has done extensive advocacy for a Culture of Peace together with its partners and members on local, regional and international level.
UNOY Youth Advocacy Team for a Culture of Peace: In October 2005, seven dedicated young people spent two weeks at the United Nations in New York to promote the World Civil Society Midterm Report on the Decade for a Culture of Peace and to lobby countries to support the Culture of Peace resolution. The Team delivered the Civil Society Report directly to 48 country missions and contacted an additional 69. They convicted many people about the importance of a global Culture of Peace and received much support from the co-sponsoring countries. The role of the Youth Advocacy Team and of youth in general, was specifically commended. In the General Assembly plenary debate on 20 October 2005, dedicated to the “International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World”, the British delegate Adam Thomson speaking on behalf of the 25 member countries of the European Union stated: “The European Union pays particular tribute to The United Network of Young Peacebuilders, a global network of young people and youth organisations active in the field of peace building. Their work is an example to us all, and evidence of the significant role that civil society can play in advancing a culture of peace”.
Following the advocacy efforts of 2005, and in partnership with Fundacion Cultura de Paz, the Youth Advocacy Team returned to New York for the 61st Session of the General Assembly, to lobby the General Assembly and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for increased commitment to International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence, and the strengthening of the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Decade.
Survey on the creation of a Youth Solidarity Fund for a Culture of Peace
A team of 16 people, including 7 from the UNOY Peacebuilders, worked on the survey commissioned by Dr. David Adams, Fundacion Cultura de Paz, and in collaboration with Bibliotecha Alexandrina (Egypt) and other youth organisations. In less than two months, the team interviewed and received answers from 460 youth organisations in 140 countries. Support for the creation of a fund to support youth and culture of peace projects was started. The Youth Solidarity Fund was announced at the Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Madrid in January 2008 and six months later, 7 youth-led projects were chosen for the pilot-phase of this fund.
In addition to youth advocacy team at the United Nations, the European Youth Advocacy team met with the European Commissioner of Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Ján Figel to discuss the important role of youth peace organisations in Brussels in 2007. UNOY Peacebuilders has also met with members of parliaments and ministers in the Netherlands to advocate for campaigns for a Culture of Peace as well as to promote the involvement of youth in peacebuilding processes. UNOY Peacebuilders has also been represented during local and international conferences and events, speaking up on the role of youth  and the positive impact young people can have towards helping achieve a culture of peace.

Youth Advocacy for a Culture of Peace: A Reflective Guide for Action in Europe
In addition to doing advocacy for a Culture of Peace, UNOY Peacebuilders also felt the need to document some of the efforts done as well as to motivate and train other young peacebuilders to engage in campaigning and advocacy. ‘Youth Advocacy for a Culture of Peace: A Reflective Guide for Action in Europe’ is a tribute to the role of youth in peace advocacy. It is about youth coming together and helping each other to understand how to carry out efforts towards achieving a culture of peace. It is a space for youth to share their advocacy experiences with other youth in order to give them the encouragement and guidance to push for their cause not just to the wider public, but to policy-makers as well. Where youth have participated in advocacy campaigns, this tool-guide is a way to sustain those efforts and to keep youth empowered.

The publication was written based on the critical reflections of the Youth Advocacy Teams of UNOY Peacebuilders in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In addition to UNOY Peacebuilders, youth and youth organisations shared their advocacy experiences. The organisations involved include U Move 4 Peace (Belgium), the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly - Vanadzor (Armenia), YERITAC (Armenia), the Hague Appeal for Peace (NY, USA), the Human Rights Information & Documentation Centre (Georgia).

In ‘Youth Advocacy for a Culture of Peace: A Reflective Guide for Action in Europe’, five youth advocates share their experiences and inside tips. In addition, a number of other youth who have been involved in peacebuilding advocacy have provided input. Based on this, an extensive tool-guide was developed, which includes practical tips, examples and exercises. Basic concepts such as advocacy, peace and the role of youth are also explained. The tool-guide motivates youth to take action in the context of the International Decade for the Culture of Peace and the All-Equal All-Different Campaign.

Capacity building
Training seminars are one of UNOY Peacebuilders’ main activities as a way to build up the skills of young peacebuilders and as a space for exchange of experiences, networking, dialogue and building bonds of friendship and solidarity among young people from different backgrounds. Activities combine methodologies developed by non-formal education in youth work, peace education, community development and intercultural learning. Trainings organised by UNOY Peacebuilders have a participatory approach based on the experience and opinions of participants. The methods consist of a combination of presentations (using audio-visual materials), group work, on-line forums, simulation exercises and role plays (experiential learning), visits to organizations, specific actions and individual reflection. All trainings organised by UNOY Peacebuilders includes an introduction to the concept of a Culture of Peace. The various trainings organised include Building Peace Skills trainings in Crimea and Netherlands, African Youth in Motion for Peace Training in Nairobi, Study Session on Applicability of Peacebuilding in Youth Work, Hungary as well as an annual Summer School on Education for Peace and Human Rights organised with the University of Utrecht.

Internships and peacebuilding trainings for young people
Throughout the last decade, UNOY Peacebuilders has offered internship opportunities to young peacebuilders. These internships provides an opportunity for young people to learn more about concepts linked to Culture of Peace as well as getting practical work experience. Young people from a wide range of countries, disciplines and backgrounds have completed internships and afterwards decided to pursue careers in international peace work and peace education. During these internships, UNOY Peacebuilders provide internal trainings on peace concepts, project management, gender etc.

UNOY Advocacy Team in Nairobi, Kenya, 2009

Gender programme
The United Network of Young Peacebuilders has been working on gender issues for a number of years. Gender equality between men and women is at the core of obtaining an inclusive and peaceful society. However, the concrete idea for a UNOY Peacebuilders’ Gender Programme was first initiated after several of UNOY Peacebuilders members indicated a desire to implement gender mainstreaming in their work and in the UNOY network. UNOY Peacebuilders took up this challenge, and in 2008 the first activities were planned. Since then, UNOY Peacebuilders has organised a number of trainings, established a gender working group, developed a resource centre on gender and organised a study session on Gender Equality in Youth Peacebuilding Projects in Budapest, Hungary.
Partners for Peace Publication
Several youth peace organisations organise projects to promote a Culture of Peace in partnerships. In order to make the projects even more successful, UNOY Peacebuilders and a few member organisations wrote the publication ‘Partners for Peace - A Toolkit for Setting Up European Youth Peace Projects in Partnership’. The toolkit is the result of a partnership between four youth peace organisations based in Europe. This toolkit aims to identify effective ways of dividing, decentralising and delegating tasks when setting up a youth peace meeting between different international partners. This toolkit intends to outline the possible problems and challenges frequently associated with international projects that involve cooperation by a number of partners. It also provides an overview on methods and tools, and provides hands-on solutions to these problems.


UNOY Gender Study Session 2009

Promoting a culture of non-violence with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
On the 22nd of May 2009, the grandson of late Mahatma Gandhi, participated in a joint event organised by UNOY Peacebuilders and three other youth Peace and Human Rights organisations based in The Hague. The partner organisations were the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), the Global Human rights Defense (GHRD) and Culture Clash 4 You (CC4U). The event included
a solemn opening which was marked with speeches and a ceremonial laying of flowers at the Statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The events at the Gandhi statue provided the correct atmosphere for a peaceful march into the town centre, to the venue, the Nutshuis. At the Nutshuis about 100 young people from all nationalities and cultural background gathered. After a short opening speech and play about the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the floor was given to Arun Gandhi.
From the very beginning, participants expressed their enthusiasm for a speech by Mr. Arun Gandhi. The theme of the discussion was “Promoting a Culture of Non-Violence among Youth.” Mr. Gandhi started the session by giving a small demonstration, where he asked everyone to pair up and have one person make a fist while the other person attempted to pry it open. This was meant to show how violent people are, as the easiest thing would have been to ask the other person to open their fist, rather than use force to do it. He then explained how ‘culture of violence’ is embedded in human nature. He posed significant question: why our actions, traits, attitudes and general functioning are so connected to violence, and whether this link is innate? In answering the question, he contemplated two options ‘either to give up violence, or to give up peace’. He explained further ‘nonviolence’ is a positive step towards a constructive peace. This was eloquently demonstrated by showing a link between love and nonviolence. As such a link has the potential to lead to a more positive attitude. He then explained positive attitudes help people make better choices in their lives. Mr. Gandhi emphasized this point by referring to a saying of his grandfather; “life is not about going in a circle but it is about climbing up the ladder”. He pleaded for people to be better human beings, and reminded “civilization does not mean living in a rich country; civilization is not only your relationship with your brothers and sisters; but with all of humanity.”

Mr. Gandhi’s discussion revolved mainly around the role of young people in combating the current culture of violence. And on several points he insisted we must give up facile labels based on categorisation. Instead focus on the label of human being alone and respect one another and placed a lot of emphasis to the word “respect”. He contended that he does not like the word “tolerance” as tolerance involves certain attitudes of resistance and grudging acceptance of something existent, without any true embrace of the thing itself. Drawing from an encounter with his grandfather, Mr. Gandhi told a story about losing a ‘small pencil’, which illustrated how even small, unconscious acts perpetuate violence both against nature and against humanity. In the speech it was noted that we all are contributors to violence in one way or another. We perpetrate violence consciously or unconsciously by contributing and participating in its genealogy. He made a distinction between two types of violence: ‘physical violence’ where force is applied and is put into forms of war, rape, plunder; etc...; ‘passive violence’ where no force is applied, it is merely perpetuated through existing exploitative economic and/or political relationships. Mr. Gandhi concluded his speech by linking up physical and passive violence, where he suggested that a complex understanding of both types of violence is fundamental to the pursuit of peace. In doing so, however, he noted it is important to ask the essential question: to what extent are we passively violent? Any peace must come from within us, arrived at by introspection. Finally, Mr. Gandhi noted young people should be more loving and responsible in order to transform the world for good, and achieve peace.

African Students Conferece
The annual African Students Conference (ASC) in The Hague has been organised by UNOY Peacebuilders and The African Committee since 2002, and is one of the highlights on the UNOY calendar.
These ‘Building Peace in Africa’ conferences deal with critical issues of major concern in the field of advancing peace, justice and democracy. They aim to raise awareness and to promote interdisciplinary dialogue, research and action, stressing the role of culture, youth and civil societies.  About 250 participants come together and create bonds of friendship and stimulate networking during the one-day conference. Students are encouraged to bridge the gap  between their studies, to work together to build peace in Africa and to link up with the Diaspora youth in the Netherlands.
These conferences draw experienced speakers, many of whom are from Africa. Afternoon workshops are normally followed by a reception offered by the Municipality of The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice, in order to give the participants the opportunity to get further acquainted, to network and to have fun.  
The African Committee (TAC) is an association of African students studying in various institutes of higher education in the Netherlands. Its main objective is to meet regularly and highlight factual issues affecting the continent of   Africa. The last few years, the conference themes have included topics such as the impact of religion, post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation, urbanisation and human security and the role of communication in conflict transformation.

UNOY African Students Conference 2008

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

UNOY has seen that people have broadened their interest again to issues of Peace and development. Some have however lost belief in development aid as it was organised and the concept of non violence. Security concerns also play among youth and debates about the value of military peace forces is heavily debated, but no clear stance can be defined. Local violence in communities is identified by young people not as a style of living or a necessary evil but as a consequence of the lack of income and exclusion young people suffer in their societies.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

- A recurring challenge for youth peace organisations like UNOY Peacebuilders is obtaining funding for the various projects. This is relates also the fact that funders cause to support existing, traditional, bigger organisations and not new youth organisations. Trust and credibility is a challenge for youth organisation to obtain with others. The negative image around youth effect them also when raising funds.
- The concept of a Culture of Peace is still an unknown concept amongst the general public, specially in Europe. For instance, more people know about the Millennium Development Goals and their measurable and time-specific goals.
- Unfortunately, a Culture of Violence is still predominant in many places.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

- Continued networking amongst young peacebuilders  
- Advocacy toolkit for an African audience
- Peace Education Summer schools
- International Internships for young peacebuilders to build their capacities
- Gender training to promote equality between women and men

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

- Better coordination amongst organisations
- Conferences and opportunities to meet face-to-face
Back to top
Organization: United Network of Young Peacebuilders

Click here to add a report from another organization.
new topic