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Celebrating the International Youth Day 12 August in the International Year of Youth 2011

©UN Photo/P. Filgueiras - UN Launch of International Youth Year on 12 August 2010


“Haiku happen all the time, wherever you are.

People can express what they see in everyday life, using Haiku.

People can see into the life of things by reading Haiku.

People can share their feelings through Haiku.”

Mr. Tsuyoshi Sotoya from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan and Ms. Yeng Sovanny from Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia presented their action plan Haiku for Peace at the recent UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador Training Workshop at The Cambodian Institute for Cooperation of Peace and Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Their goal is to raise awareness of university students in Cambodia and Japan about peace through Haiku (俳句) which is a traditional form of Japanese poetry to provide them an opportunity to think, write and read Haiku at university in each country and to build a sense of community among friends, families, and organizations by sharing their Haiku.

“People often face difficulties in reaching others with their feelings which causes misunderstandings among the people of different countries and these misunderstandings results in discord and trouble.  Our expected outcome will be to promote the concept of peace among the university students by having them create Haiku.

“We also believe sharing Haiku with others can help remind the university students of loving peace,” said the Youth Peace Ambassador.

Desire and Hope
Existing in the whole world
Peace will come”

This Youth Peace Ambassador Training Workshop was organized by UNESCO Bangkok, in collaboration with Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) and Eubios Ethics Institute. It was the second Youth Peace Ambassador Workshop to be held, this time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia while the first one had been held in Hiroshima, Japan.

2011 International Youth Day: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding

On 17 December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

This year’s International Youth Day is a particularly important day for youth around the world. In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution proclaiming the Year commencing this International Youth Day (12 August 2010) as the International Year of Youth.

In line with the theme for the International Year, the theme for this year’s International Youth Day is “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. The choice of theme reflects the General Assembly’s appreciation of the value of dialogue among youth from different cultures as well as among different generations.

This was also one of the series activities organized by UNESCO Bangkok as part of the International Year of Youth, in order to link young persons from many countries. The UN International Year of Youth was launched on 12 August 2010. The Year provides the framework to bring youth to the forefront of global debates. It is an opportunity to take the youth development agenda a step further and to advocate for increased investments in, and strengthened commitments to, youth.

UNESCO has been developing various specific initiatives within the strategic objectives of its Youth Programme, also in connection with the celebration of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2010).

Among the over 60 participants were people from countries such as the Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Korea, Canada, China, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and USA.

During five days the participants had reviewed cross cultural aspects of peace education, human security, post-conflict reconstruction, consider the impact of science and technology, and developed action plans. At the end of the workshop the participants would have to complete their own action plans for their follow--‐up activity (as individuals or groups).

“We consider the persons who have completed their training and significantly implemented their action plans and achieve some significant results of their action plan, as Youth Peace Ambassadors,” explained Darryl Macer, the Regional Advisor in Social and Human Sciences for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO Bangkok.

New members are being added to the youth peace ambassador network of young people as a forum for the exchange of ideas and good practices for effecting social change for peace, and they are active on facebook.

“It would be necessary for making consultations in the design of peace curriculum and expand the integration of security and peace activities into policy making, with special relevance to young persons. The participants are also expected to engage in activities in their own institutions and communities after the workshop to promote peace education through action, research and policy changes,” said Macer.

The action plans are placed on the website of UNESCO Bangkok and follow-up was held with participants. Further workshops will be held, including some linked to their action plans.

For more information contact: Darryl Macer, UNESCO Bangkok, Thailand


Compiled by Rojana Manowalailao, UNESCO Bangkok


More information:

International Year of Youth: UNESCO’s role and contribution

Asia-Pacific Interagency Group on Youth

Report of the First UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador Training Workshop, Hiroshima, Japan, 9-13 October 2010

Report of the Second UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador Training
Workshop, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 28 March – 1 April 2011