. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .
An article by Irmine Kinda for Burkina 24
The first international youth forum on the culture of peace is taking place this Wednesday, November 15, 2017 in Ouagadougou under the sponsorship of Michel Kafando, former President of Burkina Faso. The forum brings together the different religions to discuss, revisit the holy texts, see what these texts say about the peace, and to promote peaceful coexistence in spite of religious differences.
The background of this first forum is the African initiative of education for peace and development through interfaith and intercultural dialogue launched in Cotonou in May 2015 and the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security. Organizers include the Burkina Faso Interfaith Youth Network (BFIYN) and the JEC (Jeunesse Etudiante Catholique du Burkina Faso).
The forum gathers from November 15 to 18, 2017 young participants of various religions. While recognizing the need for military action in the fight against growing terrorism, they want to bring their touch as sentinels of peace. And to do this, the promoter of the Forum, Henri Kaboré, has retained for this first forum the theme: “Youth committed to a culture of peace through interreligious dialogue”
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How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?
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For this first edition 120 participants are expected and the coordinator stressed that the focus will be on the representation of young people coming from the various religious denominations including Islam, Christianity and African traditional religion. Young people will have the opportunity to meet, exchange, accept their differences and realize that they are all creatures of God, called to love each other and to protect human life that is sacred.
“Difference is a wealth and not a disadvantage (…). Without peace, there is no development (…). Young people are actors of peace and development “, emphasized the initiator and the coordinator of the Forum, Henri Kaboré.
The forum’s sponsor, Michel Kafando, praised the youth initiative. Indeed, he says, “in a world where youth represents the essential in its number, it is necessary that this youth can truly make its mark in the search for peace. This forum focuses on interreligious dialogue. That means that this youth is aware that our world is disrupted and that our future is youth. By raising the issue and ensuring that through these various meetings, there is a general consciousness so that through exchanges we can find a solution that makes this world more peaceful. I accepted to sponsor this forum because I believe that the youth has a very big role to play “.
The opening of this forum also saw the presence of the deputy Jacob Ouedraogo, president of the commission of laws in the National Assembly and the general secretary of the religion for christ, Dr. Francis Kayena. The two co-chairs of the forum congratulated and encouraged the young people and said they would spare no effort to accompany them in the quest for peace.