The Ideas for Peace can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Following previous youth events on Viel Armand / Hartmannswillerkopf in the French Vosges (2014) and in Verdun (2016), the international youth meeting "Youth for Peace – 100 Years After World War I, 100 Ideas for Peace" presented the opportunity to move beyond the Franco-German perspective and discuss the lessons of peace learned as a result of World War I from European and transnational viewpoints.
The meeting culminated in an event on 18 November 2018 during which 20 Ideas for Peace were presented to and discussed with FrankWalter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.
1. We believe that the best way to preserve peace is by organizing numerous local clubs at universities and schools as places of social diversity. Club members would meet often and be involved in cultural exchanges and try to fight prejudices. These clubs would organize small-scale exchange programmes with foreign clubs with the events advertised on social media. We believe that these events are key to increasing understanding and communication between countries, the main ingredients for peace.
2. We advocate for the creation of a Pan-European Youth Office. The mission of this office is to promote dialogue, understanding, and peace and convey transnational core values through education, exchanges, intercultural communication and international youth programmes. It will reach out to all communities, thereby promoting acceptance, tolerance and respect. This independent organization will cooperate with governments and NGOs all over Europe and its neighbour states.
3. Considering education as a main tool for peace, we believe in a re-evaluation of the international education system based on the creation of a “Resolution on the Principles of Education” (R.P.E) written by and for young people. Its aim is to raise awareness for the short and long-term global challenges of mankind and learn from historical events. This process should take place at school, which will lead to the natural adaption of universal values promoting peace.
4. “Mutual understanding” is a new multinational school subject with the aim of educating students about the history, everyday life and future challenges of states worldwide. Experts from different countries design a 60-minute lesson on their country and share their views on history as well as current conflicts. The lessons result in further understanding of division and crisis worldwide in addition to promoting self-reflection and curiosity. Following the lessons, students will be given the opportunity to engage with peers from the nations discussed, exchange opinions and ask questions.
5. The online platform “Humanity for peace” will be a network that establishes global peace through local projects. “Humanity for peace” provides a digital platform that aims to connect people around the world who want to promote and maintain peaceful relationships between communities. We hope to do that by exchanging ideas and experiences online and implementing them in daily life worldwide.
6. It is hard to achieve peace when only some of us are invited. We want a global and inclusive program in the form of an online platform where all types of exchange programs are promoted, explained and made available to all. This platform will provide information on existing exchange opportunities in addition to making it easier to create new ones. Its aim is to achieve a lifelong sense of intercultural unity and promote inspiration, action, and peace.
7. PEACE aims to connect international youth through three main initiatives:The first step consists of international education including cultural, historical, political, and artistic aspects as well as languages. The next stage gives young people the opportunity to take part in exchange programmes around the world. During the project, students are encouraged to share their ideas, thoughts, and experiences with fellow participants from different backgrounds through an online platform.
8. We propose a conversation project across local communities and Europe. We envisage community spaces that host events where people across social backgrounds and ages can gather in order to talk and share experiences. Furthermore, at the meetings, there will be an opportunity to write personal letters that will be sent to other participating centres all over Europe. We hope these exchanges, albeit not face-to-face, will still produce personal connections to promote harmony.
9. Universal Basic Income improves living standards, enhences freedom and is a matter of social justice, which thereby leads to peace. By providing every citizen with their fundamental needs, the wealth gap is reduced and societal issues including homelessness, crime and drug use are diminished. As technology begins to dominate our workforce, this economic and social model can help solve unemployment and prevent future conflicts by reducing social inequality.
10. In today’s world, sometimes we don’t appreciate the value of peace, so we propose enhancing the Day of Peace by examining the topic in different ways and sectors. Education, politics, and media are all means for creating war and peace. It’s all about choosing the direction you want to follow. We can encourage peace building through reflection, workshops, and a variety of events, but who we are and what we want is actually defined by our everyday lives and actions.
11. Acknowledging that free education creates a socially equal, socially stable and tolerant society and thus fosters peace, we call for the EU to fund scholarships that enable more citizens from low-income backgrounds to visit vocational and technical schools and colleges. Keeping in mind that the low social status of low-income jobs creates social conflicts and internal instability, we call for the creation of a European organization coordinating the exchange of skilled workers across the EU, thus making employment contracts in this sector more attractive to future employees.
12. Throughout our time in Berlin, our group has explored the topic of war and peace using theatre. This helped us realize the power of art as a universal medium to experience history and understand the value of peace. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the educational value of art and its power to transform lives. Therefore, we deem it necessary to offer free access to art for everyone in order to create peace. While we were exploring conflict and peace in the workshop, we also realized that in our daily lives, it is often the simple acts of kindness that can transform a conflict situation into a peaceful situation. We therefore encourage everyone to exercise the universal language of kindness when interacting with other human beings.
13. Inequality always leads to conflict. Inequality exists everywhere. A German citizen has easy access to 165 other countries while a French one can access only 164. It is even more unfair that a Syrian citizen can only access 36. In addition to not having access to different cultures, people do also not have equal access to information. We therefore propose open access to countries and information in order to ensure equality and transparency and avoid conflict.
14. We propose making school a peaceful place of social diversity and integration. To do so, international groups of young leaders will organize critical, inspiring peace workshops that take place one week per year in every school worldwide.
15. “United in Youth” will be a 6-day international youth summit encouraging cultural acceptance and open-mindedness among young people from across the globe. The participants will be aged 15 and come from a total of 20 countries, with 4 people randomly selected from each country. The teenagers will partake in workshops that allow them to celebrate culture through food and music, discover history from different perspectives, and create their own political parties and manifestos.
16. The Peace Line will be a physical line (with no branches, ultimately forming a circle) that goes around Europe and beyond and passes through the most important monuments of both World Wars. Remembering the hard times Europe has gone through during the current peace and prosperity of Europe is important for creating long-lasting peace in Europe and is a very effective reminder that achieving peace and prosperity after war is possible. The Peace Line also has the potential to grow into an international phenomenon and a cultural destination.
17. Our pledge for peace is to build an international network of experts that includes and acknowledges a variety of formal and non-formal competences to produce and promote common, non-partisan, intercultural knowledge based on a fair and sustainable social dialogue. The outcome of this network will be a joint curriculum, learning materials and recommendations for local implementation.
18. Recent surveys have shown that the rise of fake news has led to increasing mistrust in the media worldwide. Our project proposal wants to tackle this development by establishing an online tool that checks the facts behind news. News that contains only facts will be certified with a visible mark, which will enable media users to find stories that they can trust and rely on. The tool will be established in collaboration with researchers, journalists and media experts from around the world.
19. Through environmental initiatives, we want to reduce current inequalities and prevent future conflicts caused by the unequal distribution of food and resources and the misuse of polluting chemicals.The European Union and state governments should promote the smart usage of food and water, educate youth about respectful ways of handling food and healthy eating habits by supporting gardening in schools and providing them with materials and knowledge. By raising awareness, we can feed more people and save soil and animals.
20. When we are surrounded by a lot of information, we need to learn now to differentiate between what is trustworthy and what is not. We propose the creation of a program where students can learn how to select reliable information from various sources and can be exposed to the experiences of misrepresented groups. People from many fields would help them develop critical thinking so they can form stronger opinions and values.