Introduction

It was the great social reformer, Karl Marx, who gave a clarion call to the workers of the world to unite. Today, when the world is besieged by war and civil strife, young people have a crucial role to play in establishing a culture of peace. It would be apt to give a clarion call to the youth of the world to unite in this effort to establish peace through non-violence. Indeed, the world today is younger than ever before and the youth has been hailed as a positive force for promoting and maintaining peace, development and change in the world. At the same time youth is affected by high rate of unemployment, armed conflict and global terrorism.

There is an urgent need to explore meaningful participation of young people in establishing the culture of peace by actively pursuing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and connecting to the universal yearning for peace.

Over the past 11 years, the Global Youth Peace Festival has been pursuing the agenda of youth leadership and transformative change. It has also shown the way to build a global culture of volunteerism and service. The GYPF 2016 coincide with the clouds of war had gathered over India and Pakistan. We at Team GYPF managed to change the narrative by having young people from 33 countries including 19 young girls for peace from Pakistan espousing for peace.

The youth solemnly re-affirmed that we are all part of one global family – Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family) -- aspiring to establish peace in every corner of the globe. Human rights violation was felt as a serious concern and we should help by collecting data, providing legal services and supporting the vulnerable and marginalized population.

Way Forward

Team GYPF 2017 affirms that youth should effectively participate in implementing and achieving sustainable development goals and build actionable projects for transformative change. We also affirm that we are all part of one family and we should develop an action plan to educate and train people to promote co-existence and tolerance.

Enthused by the role played by young people in creating an alternative narrative revolving around peace at GYPF 2017, we plan to create/train young leaders to actively seek out and support their meaningful participation in cross-border peace building activities. This time, we would have young people from India and Pakistan simultaneously calling for peace by gathering at the Indo-Pak Wagah border.

As was the case always at GYPF, at GYPF 2017 too, we will involve youth in decision-making and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. The SDGs are formally adopted by Heads of State at the UN marking a historic moment that sets the world’s development agenda for the next 15 years. However, the SDGs are not legally binding. Each government will decide how to implement the ambitious goals based on their own national contexts. Furthermore, review of a country’s progress toward the Goals will be strictly voluntary. This means the implementation of the SDGs will to a great degree rely on citizens who will have to hold their leaders and governments to account and remind them of their commitments.

Be the Change: This is where young people have a critical role to play. If countries are to succeed in achieving the SDGs, leaving no one behind along the way, governments must seek out an active and substantive engagement of young women and men from diverse backgrounds in national-level planning, implementation, and monitoring. The overall success of the SDGs depends on youth engagement for these goals to be realized. It is critical that all stakeholders, in particular, the young people be made part of the process right from the start.

We have realized that peace and sustainable development go hand in hand. You cannot end conflicts or achieve peace in the world if hunger and malnutrition persist, if mothers continue to die during child birth, if environment continues to be assailed by man-made causes, if education is not provided to every child -- sustainable development goals are the very foundation of peace. It is truly said that peace is not mere absence of war, it is an affirmation of global brotherhood.  That is the reason we are also broadbasing the festival to include Sustainable Development Goals-SDG’s.

Venues

  • Chandigarh - It's very difficult to imagine any major city in India more ideal than peace-city Chandigarh, a model of outstanding modern urban planning. Chandigarh’s beautiful gardens, bicycle paths, architecture, vast network of educational institutions and culture all contribute to a quality of life that is unbeatable anywhere else. Come and see Chandigarh - a Utopia! Click here for more details about the city.
  • Amritsar - Founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Ram Das, Amritsar is home to Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the spectacular Golden Temple, one of India’s most serene and humbling sights. The same cannot be said for the hyperactive streets surrounding the temple. Amritsar is divided in two by a tangle of railway lines. The old city, containing the Golden Temple and other historic sites and bound by 12 medieval gates, is southeast of the railway lines. This is a fascinating area to explore, with a capillary network of narrow bazaars that seems to float between the centuries. Click here for more details about the city.

Accommodation

Delegates will be accommodated at good quality Government Guest Houses in Chandigarh city. The basic accommodation will be on twin sharing basis for four day days and three nights, from September 29 to October 2, 2017.

Shared Beliefs

GYPF 2017 stands for strengthening the five essential principles of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy: Truth, Ahimsa (nonviolence), Simplicity, Trusteeship & Constructive Action...

  • Truth - "When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it--always." - Mahatma Gandhi
  • AHIMSA (nonviolence) - "There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for." - Mahatma Gandhi
  • Simplicity - "You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them." - Mahatma Gandhi
  • Trusteeship - Mahatma Gandhi said we don't own the talent but we are appointed "Trustees" by God and so we must use the talent to help others, less fortunate or talented than us. But this "giving" or "sharing" or "helping" must not cripple the receiver.
  • Constructive Action - Constructive Action is the natural corollary to trusteeship. It means getting involved in finding constructive solutions to problems.