By Maria Kandjungu
THE International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), in collaboration with the National Youth Council of Namibia (NYC) and the Namibia Youth Development Organisation (NYDO), are spearheading the “We Are One” intergenerational dialogue in support of this year’s Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit. IPYG is an international non-governmental organisation with 111 branches around the globe, of which 40 are in African countries. The dialogue which is set to take place on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday (18 August) in Windhoek, is aimed at discussing issues pertaining to peace and security in the region and how they impact the youth. According to IPYG’s Media Liaison Officer, Roberto Goreseb, distinguished youth leaders from Southern Africa urgently call on the SADC Heads of State and the SADC Secretariat to engage the youth who mostly are used as instruments of fighting wars when unrest arises in the region’s hot spots. “We call on the Heads of State to be held accountable for the role in which the youth must play as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security as specified in the African Youth Charter. The youth urge that if the Presidents say no to meeting the young leaders, it is the same as saying no to achieving peace and cessation of war in this region,” he said. Goreseb further stated that as SADC leaders enter into deliberations on the theme concerning youth empowerment , they should also consider the youth who suffer as a result of political violence affecting SADC countries such as Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “Young leaders with a vision for peace and stability pledge to remain active for what is right and just and call for a culture of peace to be at the forefront of the agenda of the SADC Summit,” Goreseb added. IPYG’s vision is to create a culture of peace amongst the youth of the world, and to inspire them to act as the voice of conscience and reason with the leaders and law makers. Goreseb further stated that the founder of IPYG, Chairman Man Hee Lee, will be engaging in meetings on the side-lines of the Summit to promote the important message of global peace. “As a global peace advocate, Chairman Lee has travelled the world engaging global leaders on matters of peace and security and sharing the clear answer for peace through the DPCW. As he meets African leaders on his world tour to Africa, the Southern African Heads of State will have a chance to share about the pressing issues pertaining to the unrest in the region” he explained. “The DPCW is a new international legal instrument drafted by the International Law Peace Committee (ILPC) of our affiliate organisation and promotes the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 supporting its vision for a peaceful and gun free Africa,”Goreseb said. Through its advocacy division, IPYG work at grass roots level with civil society organisations and local governments to deal with socio- economic issues relating to violence, conflict and the use of youth as tools for war.
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