Popular Black Eyed Peas’s hit track Where is the Love asks a simple question which is apt for the times. With war and violence being synonymous with the news these days it is apparent that humanity is at the precipice and needs an answer to that question.
As at January 2010, there were 101,544 United Nations peace keepers active in fifteen missions around the world. Conflict is increasing world over today and children and youths are increasingly becoming the largest number of those affected. We are lured, coerced, abducted, abused and forced to fight wars that we do not understand, wars fueled by the excesses of despotic leaders, like in Ivory Coast and in Libya and as is brewing in Yemen and Bahrain. We, the youths have become instruments of war and this has made us vulnerable to many others sad circumstances.
The situation is aptly captured in this statement by the UNICEF on the state of the world’s Children;
“On any one given day, 20 or more armed conflicts are being fought around the world, most in poor countries. In the past decade alone, because of wars, 2 million children were killed; 6 million were seriously injured or permanently disabled; and 12 million were left homeless. It is estimated that between 80 percent and 90 percent of people who die or are injured in conflict are civilians, mostly children and their mothers”
Conflict management and Peace building are thus key issues for young people world over. Learning how to prevent and react to different conflicts in a peaceful way can provide opportunities for young people to develop on a personal level and at the same time to change different aspects and mentalities in their own communities towards the evolution of a truly peaceful and harmonious world.
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