International Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
an article by Hagar Ibrahim and Sally Wissa
Last month, the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement sponsored the International Youth Forum entitled "The Power of Youth for Peace" under the slogan "Youth Speak .. We Listen". One Thousand and twelve hundred participants attended the forum which promoted interaction between youth and decision-makers, the private sector, government and civil society organizations.
The forum was centered around five themes:
* Understanding ourselves, appreciating the other
* Information and Communication Technology for Peace
* Youth Leading Development
* Violence or Peace - a Personal Choice
* Health for all
Click on photo to enlarge.
The forum was an unforgettable experience for all the participants due to many reasons as the selection of the speakers was well applied. Also most of the participants were selected professionally according to their interest in the forum as well as their qualifications, taking into consideration a balanced gender distribution and an age grouping (18-25) . More importantly, it was clear from the beginning that the aim of the forum is to come out with youth ideas and draft an action plan. It was announced that the Suzanne Mubarak Women's International Peace Movement would do all its best to implement these ideas which gave the forum a sense of unity to reach a common goal.
Mrs. Mubarak stressed that the objective of the international youth forum is to allow unheard voices to emerge, and thus encourage "the growing numbers of ordinary youth around the globe who wish to see reason and peace prevail over war".
The most important feature of the forum is the true will of the Egyptian presidency and government in listening to the youth voices. As Egyptians we were very proud to hear our fellow international delegates fascinated with the presence of Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak beside us in most of the sessions showing the Egyptian appreciation and respect to the youth all over the world.
In general, the International Youth Forum was a unique opportunity for young people to highlight their enormous potential as change-makers, exchange ideas, join forces and strengthen their capacity to serve the causes that they champion. The Forum as a whole was a remarkable and unforgettable experience that we hope to repeat by getting the chance to attend the 2nd International Youth Forum to be able to touch all the wonderful outcomes presented in the forum and approach them in reality.
Question(s) related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?
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Latest reader comment:
The original Youth Report for a Culture of Peace is still worth reading as the initial inspiration for the Youth Solidarity Fund of the Alliance of Civilizations. See http://decade-culture-of-peace.org/report/YouthReport.pdf.