27 October 2020
On 23 October an online session on the role of Eurasian region youth in peacebuilding took place in the framework of the International Nanjing Peace Forum.The UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty as the organizer provided a platform for dialogue for young peacebuilders. The session was attended by 11 speakers from 10 countries of the region, which served to exchange experience and best practices in the field of youth programs and participation in transforming the world and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
More than 750 participants registered for this event, 90% of them were young people.
During the opening session, Ms Krista Pikkat, Director of UNESCO Almaty Office noted: “We give this opportunity and want to become a guide for young people to promote a culture of peace and non-violence. Today to hear young people and understand their needs is important for us as well as to help overcome barriers and prevent them from turning off the path to a successful tomorrow."
In addition, the UNESCO Artist for Peace, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation - Ms. Zarifa Mgoyan, better known as Zara, made a speech. She inspired the young participants of the meeting, because they agreed that 2020 year again proved the need to develop dialogue to prevent conflicts, the need of youth participation in social transformation and gain support youth and volunteer initiatives from governments and international organizations to ensure peace at the global level.
The session raised many of the challenges that youth face on the path to peacebuilding, such as unequal access to education, social and economic gap between urban and rural youth, gender inequality, lack of safe spaces for the development and self-expression of young people, high unemployment, barriers related to migration and ethnic conflicts, radicalization, etc.
Moreover, speakers and participants of the session discussed the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people. In addition to supporting the education sector, which has passed significant transformations, UNESCO has to create programs to respond to the pandemic consequences on the youth sector, including their equal participation in scientific, cultural and socio-economic life.
At the end of the meeting, young female leaders of the Eurasian region presented their recommendations to governments and UN agencies on empowering youth in promoting the peace and non-violence and decision-making culture.