21 September 2010 – International Day of Peace: UNICEF Celebrates with Youth and Children in Sudan
Khartoum - UNICEF celebrated the International Day of Peace today by calling on Sudanese youth to get involved in dialogue and promote peace as a main component for development.
The international Day of Peace, observed each year on 21 September, is a global call for ceasefire and non-violence. This year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on young people around the world to take a stand for peace under the theme, Youth for Peace and Development.
Several UNICEF-sponsored activities involved youngsters who were called to engage in advocating for an end of conflict, and to find mechanisms of resolving differences. The program included a Symposium on “Youth for Peace and Development”, co-organized by UNMIS and UNICEF, in collaboration with the Khartoum branch of the University of Juba, represented by the Center for Peace and Development Studies. Also, the “School Arts Festival for Peace”, sponsored by UNICEF and the Federal Ministry of General Education, which exhibited diverse art expressions from young students about their vision of peace, with the participation of 600 students from 5 schools in the Khartoum area.
The celebrations concluded with a “Youth March for Peace” in Omdurman, co-organized by the Federal Ministry of Youth and UNICEF, which started From Al Morada Square to Youth and Children Palace, with the participation of more than 400 youth. Similar events took place on Southern Sudan, as well as South Darfur and Abyei.
These activities are also part of a nationwide peace initiative launched by UNICEF Sudan, in coordination with UN agencies and with the collaboration of diverse sectors of the government and civil society, to promote values of peace and understanding among Sudanese youth, encourage them to engage in actions oriented towards reduction of conflict, and raise awareness about the price of war and the gains of peace.
Youth, peace and development are closely interlinked. Peace is a necessary condition for development, which in turn is critical to provide young people with opportunities for growth, and this is particularly relevant in those countries emerging from conflict. Peace, stability and security are also essential for the achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the world’s largest campaign to combat poverty, disease and hunger.
“But none of this is possible if we continue with the present sense that we are moving towards inevitability of increased levels of conflict” said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF Representative in Sudan. “Sudan, more than ever, needs peace; it needs every citizen to feel, ‘I am prepared to pay the price for peace,’ rather than continue paying the price for war,” he added.
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