Chandigarh, India: 11th Global Youth Peace Fest

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An article from the Tribune of India

The 11th Global Youth Peace Fest (GYPF)-2016 concluded at the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management here today with the delegates making a fervent plea for global peace and harmony in the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, the whole world is one family, which they displayed over the week by embracing each other.

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Delegates from Pakistan in a jubilant mood during the valedictory function of the 11th Global Youth Peace Festival in Chandigarh on Sunday. Tribune Photo: S Chandan
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The collective aspiration for peace and harmony took the form of a resolution that called for establishing peace in every corner of the globe.

On the concluding day of the event, organised by Yuvsatta, an NGO, the high-octane aspiration for peace and harmony was evident as countries cheered the delegates from across the globe, forgetting regional tensions and lack of harmony. “As we met and embraced each other over the past week, we connected to the aspiration of the world as one family in the hearts and minds of every participant,” the final GYPF resolution passed by them read.

What was striking in today’s event was the rapport that the young people built over the week which translated into a standing ovation for every country as they walked up to the stage to get their mementos and certificates. The Pakistani delegation waving the Indian Flag was a touching sight in stark contrast to the tension that has been experienced across the border between the two countries.

The delegates also called upon the governments and international bodies to support youth programmes and projects and involve them in the decision-making process.“We all agree that there is an urgent need for exploring meaningful participation of young people in establishing a culture of peace by actively pursuing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and connecting to the universal yearning for peace,” they said, adding that the GYPF had shown the way to building a global culture of voluntarism and service.

The delegates presented action plans on what they would be doing back home in areas of women empowerment, sustainability, global citizenship and promoting youth leadership in SAARC countries with the learning of the GYPF fresh in their minds. The young people decided that they would remain in touch with each other and report the progress in achieving the goals in the next GYPF.

Earlier in the day, a “Wildlife Conservation Walk” was organised with all delegates assembling at Sukhna Lake carrying the message of “live and let live”.

A felicitation ceremony for all delegates from 33 countries was organised in which they were honoured with a canvas depicting a sketch of Mahatma Gandhi by Shammi Malik, state retail sales manager of Indian Oil Company Limited, Rani Sharma, chairperson, Sidharth Vashisht Charitable Trust, American Gandhi Bernie Meyer, Principal of the Chandigarh Institute of Hotel Management TK Razdan and Dr Markandey Rai, Adviser, UN Habitat.

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