February 13, 2009 :The valedictory function of the five day Commonwealth Asia Regional Workshop on Youth and Peace Building organised by Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Asia Centre in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, was held today. The chief-guest of the occasion was Mr. Pradip Mehra, IAS, Advisor to the Chandigarh Administration.
"Youth are the agents of change. Right from the music in 60s to the events till date, youth have always played a good role in any change that has ever come in the society.", said Mr. Mehra
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Raj K. Mishra, Regional director, CYP Asia Centre said, "Judging by the level and intensity of participants by the delegates of the workshop, the objective with which the workshop was organized seems to have fulfilled. We feel confident that these young men and women will go back with their capacity enhanced and work effectively towards peace building in their respective countries"
The Key note address of the workshop was delivered by Dr. Pramod Kumar who informed the participants about the meaning, factors contributing to and relevance of Peace building in today’s context. They were also told about the instruments/ methodologies of conflict management/resolution and role of youth in using and developing the same.
The participants engaged in various group exercises and evolved their own meanings of conflict looking at it from political, social, economic and ethnic point of view. They also delved on whether conflict is intrinsic in human society and strategized on how young people can manage/resolve conflict.
The participants also shared their country’s situation and case studies of best practices adopted by their respective nations in the field of dialogue, mediation and negotiation. They also specifically discussed Post conflict peace building and Role of youth in rehabilitation and reintegration. The role of youth as a peer educator and campaigner was also discussed along with methods that can be adopted to make the young generation play a greater role in post conflict situation.
A considerable amount of time was spent on discussing Respect and Understanding –the mandate, context and rationale – the Commonwealth Commission’s Report "Civil Paths to Peace". The panel discussion on same included Inequality, grievance and history, Participation, media and education, Education and young people as it topics.
The last day saw the members dividing into groups and devising a plan of action/framework on the role of youth in peace building. The framework was then presented to be shared with the entire team.
Sharing his experience of the workshop, Mr. Ibrahim Hamza Khaleel from Maldives said, "It has been a wonderful workshop. The idea of getting young people from different countries together is such a learning experience. The resource persons in the workshop added amazingly to our knowledge. India is such a large country with loads of cultural variations. Our country has a population of just 300,000 people with one culture, one race, one religion, one language. So it’s fascinating to see such variety of people co-exist in India as one country.
Ms. Shyamala Johthi P Tambusamy Pillay from Malaysia said, "The workshop was really productive and we learnt a lot especially because of the experience sharing sessions. We were very interested by the post-conflict, peace keeping ideas shared in the workshop"