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Youth Involvement in Peacebuilding

“Tell me and I’ll forget. Teach me and I’ll remember. Involve me, and I’ll learn” – Xin Kuang (818 AD)

The 21st century inches ever farther from the previous millennia, after going through no less than 861 wars since the 1900s. Together, we saw the rise and fall of great powers, the rise and fall of boundaries and walls, as well as the rise and fall of generations of people.

And yet here we are today, inching both forwards and backwards despite observing all of the lessons that the past has bestowed upon us. As the youth, we are the pillars of the new society. As the youth, we are the ones to repair the broken columns and begin anew. Social, political and economic challenges continue to tear upon the social fabric and potential of youth development, but it is our duty to press forward and persist. Peace-building is not complex – it only requires our active moral support in strengthening bonds and solidifying peace to avoid backsliding into conflict.

As the youth, our goal in peace-building should prioritize establishing a Culture of Peace within our own notions. This culture of peace should then be extended towards other nations, creating integrative bonds and stronger relationships to solidify a strong foundation of peace. Most importantly, we must dispel the notion of youth apathy and instead, encourage youth involvement in policy and decision-making. Not only are the youths assets to the country’s future, but they are the key to solving security issues as well as the beneficiaries of economic progress as agents for economic recovery.

It is only through the establishment and understanding of a ‘common humanity’ that progress towards creating a shift in change of our globe can arise. The youth must not only know what is true, but also know what is right.

It is time to encourage our generation to join in peace-building efforts.

We have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Now is the year to begin again. No nation can fully achieve meaningful peace without standing in solidarity and union with her youth.

About the Writer

Dk. Siti Zulaikha Pg Hj Ishak (Ms.) is from National Youth Advisor for Brunei Darussalam, she also involves in TUNZA South East Asia Youth Environment Network and United Nations Environment Programme.

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