Tomorrow starts another great and remarkable discussion cardinal to a sustainable world. The best talents for future leadership have already started to arrive in Pittsburgh for an International Summit that brings thousand of youth together( no youth dominated event outside the Olympic bring more youth together than the One Young World). These brilliant minds with more than a thousand projects are impacting their various communities. One Young World is indeed the platform for young people to contribute positively to their society. Besides institutions have stood strong to compliment the efforts of delegates at the Summit. Like MTN, through her corporate social responsibility, 21 young persons from within their company’s area of operation were sponsored to attend the Second Annual Summit of the One Young World in Zuruich last year. And MTN this year has sponsored another Liberian, Janice Pratt, proving its commitment to the dreams and aspirations to tomorrow’s leaders. Leadership, Global Business, Interfaith Dialogue, the media and environment will be the thematic areas as usual. Thanks to Kate and David, including the Hard working OYW Team, our African Director Catherine D. Peter, for working possibilities for 2012. MTN deserves a Myriad Applauds. Hearts off to our Liberian Team as we look forward to Joburg ….
tomorrow’s world leaders take the stage next week to discuss vital world issues. Bravo OYW
Thirty years ago, the United Nations (UN) dedicated this day to peace, more specifically to the absence of war and violence, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone for humanitarian aid access, and is kept by many nations, political groups, military groups, and peoples. However, the inequality afforded to some is perhaps aptly demonstrated in the ringing of the Peace Bell itself-the Bell was cast from coins belonging to children from all over the world-except the continent of Africa.
Twenty years ago, then Secretary-General of UN Boutros Boutros-Ghali, wrote a report entitled An Agenda for Peace: Preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-keeping. Quite simply, An Agenda for Peace was the resultant document from the UN Security Council’s request for recommendations on how to best strengthen and improve the efficiency of the UN’s practice of preventive diplomacy, for peacemaking and for peace-keeping, within the framework and provisions of the UN Charter. In the report, Boutros-Ghali defines “post-conflict peace-building” as “action to identify and support structures which will tend to strengthen and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict”, the most lasting contribution to the concern, the study, and (of course) the appeal of humankind’s concern with Peace Studies.
A decade ago, Secretary-General Kofi Annan marked the beginning of a new peace-day tradition, to observe September 21st as “a day of global ceasefire and non-violence”. He called for:
Twenty-four hours: to give relief workers a safe interlude for the provision of vital services; to offer mediators a building block towards a wider truce; to allow all those engaged in conflict to reconsider the wisdom of further violence.
Today, as I reflect on the promise that tradition held and the state of the world-in the atrocities we have witnessed in this year alone and the so-called divisions that are being emphasized (beliefs, disabilities, ethnicities, orientation, sex, wealth) as the sources of these tragedies-today is more crucial than ever. Humanity time and time again has had to propose, supplement and attempt to ensure the balance of studying warfare with aspiration studies of keeping peace. In today’s world, we seemingly are finding more reasons to “protect ourselves” with arms than to lay them down in favour of “seeking peace” out, however difficult and challenging this may seem. I question whether our psyche has not arrived at a place in our humanity where, we the people, have become compliant with the unacceptable, because we are not willing to put in the work it requires of every single one of us to make this world, not only acceptable, but truly peaceful-for all?
Beyond satyagraha, an “insistence on truth”, we must step away from misleading each other that this cause, like most, go beyond the one day (or one month, in some other cases) devoted to them. This year, the day continues with its call for international truce as usual but will also focus particularly on bullying and domestic violence. Maybe the question of the day should not be “What does peace mean to you?” but rather “What will peace mean to my children, and their children and (so forth)…when war no longer exists?” Take a moment to reflect on what #peacemeans to you today, and spend all others-today and forever-actively doing your part to ensure that, one day, it means peace on this Earth for everyone.
Happy Peace Day, everyone.
In honour of our upcoming Summit in Pittsburgh, I thought I would share some thoughts with you on what ‘being young’ is all about…it’s not as clear cut as you may think, we often get conflicting messages from our peers, the media and even you…so bear with me.
We are told that advice, like youth, is wasted on the young-nevertheless, we are told to enjoy the power and beauty of our youth. We have been assured that young hearts run free. We often reflect on how we are young, so young now that when tomorrow comes we will [insert an activity-whatever comes to mind-that you think (or maybe know) should not be done twice or maybe even thrice in a row but will be] all again because we are young. Sometimes, we ask for your forgiveness for what we have done, simply because we are young. We are told to hope for troubles few, to be brave and faithful and true, by ones who were once in love-just like you. We are guaranteed that only the young can break away and get lost when the wind blows, on our own. We sing about how this how we do. We proclaim that we are young with high hopes of setting the world on fire and burning brighter than the sun. Bold? Definitely! Misguided? Not entirely! Naïve? Sure, we’ll take it…you have couple of more decades up on us, why argue, numbers never lie!
However, as time passes, we hear more and more people-who were once young with us-quip about how they wish they would be forever young. We are also told that one day, we will reflect on the days when we were brave, when we were crazy, when we were mostly young. Before we cross that bridge, with about two months to go until Pittsburgh, one has to celebrate International Youth Day-the Day of the Young-this year appropriately themed “Building a Better World: Partnering with youth.” Gone are the days when the ‘old’ (for lack of a better word, because ‘aged’ sounds just as bad) built the world are we, the young, simply inherited it. We tried that approach, and no offense to the ‘old’ people in the room but look at what you’ve and are in the process of leaving us, it was as if you forgot that you had a world to leave to anyone…that it would simply end, with your natural end, on it. So, now at a crossroads, you have come to the conclusion that it would serve you well to ask the people who stand to inherit this world, what a better world would look like….beyond the lyrics to a John Lennon song. We thank you, and say-quite effectively so-challenge accepted.
Grownups, we thank you for giving us a voice but also ask that you don’t just let us say what is on our minds-really listen to what we’re saying. What we lack in years, we make up for in passion. We realize that the road will be bumpy but we have come prepared-hiking boots in tow! Please keep this in mind today, on International Youth Day, that we are young …for now. We can all learn from each other, and as we become the “no longer young” group, please accept us into ‘circle’ so that we can learn from you how to guide the ones behind us. We may not be there yet but please bear in mind that, one day, we will be. We will continue to utilize our naivety to spur us on, on issues that matter most to us, in a summit designed to cater to our hopes, dreams and aspirations for a better world-the world we will live in, when we are no longer young.
The young, one year on from being really young in Zurich (almost).
KHARTOUM/TUNIS (Reuters) – Fury about a film that insults the
Prophet Mohammad tore across the Middle East after weekly prayers on Friday with
protesters attacking U.S. embassies and burning American
flags as the Pentagon rushed to bolster security at its missions.
The obscure California-made film triggered an attack on the U.S. consulate in
Libya’s city of Benghazi that killed the U.S.
ambassador and three other Americans on Tuesday, the anniversary of the
September 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
In Tunis, at least three people were killed and more than two dozen wounded,
state television said after police gunfire near the U.S. embassy in the city
that was the cradle of last year’s Arab Spring uprisings for democracy. At least
one person died in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, a doctor said, after some of
thousands of protesters had leaped into the U.S. embassy.
As U.S. military drones faced Islamist anti-aircraft fire over Benghazi,
about 50 marines landed in Yemen a day after the U.S. embassy there was stormed.
For a second day in the capital Sanaa, police battled hundreds of young men
around the mission.
In Khartoum, wider anger at Western attitudes to Islam also saw the German
embassy overrun, with police doing little to stop demonstrators who raised a
black Islamist flag. Violence at the U.S. embassy followed protests against both
Washington and the Sudanese government, which is broadly at odds with the
The wave of indignation and rage over the film, which portrays Mohammad as a
womanizer and a fool, coincided with Pope Benedict’s arrival in Lebanon for a
The protests present U.S. President
Barack Obama with a new foreign policy crisis less than two months before
seeking re-election and tests Washington’s relations with democratic governments
it helped to power across the Arab world.
He was at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington to greet a flight bringing
home remains of the four dead from Benghazi.
It also emerged that Libya had closed its airspace over the second city’s
airport for a time because of heavy anti-aircraft fire by Islamists aiming at
U.S. reconnaissance drones flying over the city; Obama vowed to bring the
ambassador’s killers to justice.
The closure of the airport prompted speculation that the United States was
deploying special forces in preparation for an attack against the militants who
were involved in the attack.
A Libyan official said the spy planes flew over the embassy compound and the
city, taking photos and inspecting locations of radical militant groups who are
believed to have planned and staged the attack on the U.S. consulate.
There were protests in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
MARINES TO YEMEN
The Pentagon said it had sent a “fast” platoon of Marines to Yemen to bolster
U.S. embassy security after clashes in Sanaa.
U.S. embassies were the main target of anger and protest but most embassy
staff were not at work because Friday is the Muslim weekend across the Arab
The frenzy erupted after traditional Muslim Friday prayers. Fury over the
film has been stoked by Internet video footage, social networks, preachers and
Protesters clashed with police near the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Two Islamist
preachers in Egypt told worshippers that those who made the movie deserved to
die under Islamic law but they urged protesters not to take their anger out on
In the restive Sinai peninsula, militants opened fire on an international
observer base near El Gorah, close to the borders of Israel and the Gaza Strip,
and burned tires blocking a road to the camp, a witness and a security source
reported. The source said two members of the force were wounded.
The Sudanese who broke into the German embassy in Khartoum and hoisted an
Islamic flag, while one person was killed in protests in the northern Lebanese
city of Tripoli.
Police in the Sudanese capital had fired tear gas to try to disperse 5,000
protesters who had ringed the German embassy and nearby British mission. A
Reuters witness said police stood by as a crowd forced its way into Germany’s
Demonstrators hoisted a black Islamic flag saying in white letters “there is
no God but God and Mohammed is his Prophet”. They smashed windows, cameras and
furniture in the building and then started a fire.
Staff at Germany’s embassy were safe “for the moment”, Foreign Minister Guido
Westerwelle said in Berlin. He also told Khartoum’s envoy to Berlin that Sudan
must protect diplomatic missions on its soil.
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry had criticized Germany for allowing a protest last
month by right-wing activists carrying caricatures of the Prophet and for
Chancellor Angela Merkel giving an award in 2010 to a Danish cartoonist who
depicted the Prophet in 2005 triggering protests across the Islamic world.
BASHIR UNDER PRESSURE
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is under pressure from Islamists who feel the
government has given up the religious values of his 1989 Islamist coup.
The official body of Sudan’s Islamic scholars called for the faithful to
defend the Prophet peacefully, but at a meeting of Islamists, some leaders had
said they would march on the German and U.S. embassies and demanded the
ambassadors be expelled.
The Foreign Ministry said in its statement: “The German chancellor
unfortunately welcomed this offence to Islam in a clear violation of all
meanings of religious co-existence and tolerance between religions.”
Sudan used to host prominent militants in the 1990s, such as Osama bin Laden,
but the government has sought to distance itself from radicals to improve ties
with the West.
A Lebanese security source said a man was killed in Tripoli as protesters
tried to storm a government building.
Earlier, a U.S. fast food restaurant was set alight. Twelve members of the
security forces were wounded by stones thrown by protesters, the source
Protesters also clashed with police in Yemen, where one person died and 15
were injured on Thursday when the U.S. embassy compound was stormed.
U.S. and other Western embassies in other Muslim countries had tightened
security, fearing anger at the film may prompt attacks on their compounds after
the weekly worship.
Obama has promised to bring those responsible for the Benghazi attack to
justice, and the United States also sent warships towards Libya which one
official said was to give flexibility for any future action.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington had nothing to do
with the crudely made film posted on the Internet, which she called “disgusting
and reprehensible”, and the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff called a
Christian pastor in Florida to ask him to withdraw his support for it.
Palestinians staged demonstrations in both the occupied West Bank and Gaza
Israeli police, some on horseback, used stun grenades and made a number of
arrests outside Jerusalem’s Old City as a few dozen demonstrators tried to march
on the nearby U.S. consulate.
“Israeli police prevented an illegal demonstration from reaching the U.S.
consulate in East Jerusalem and used stun grenades after rocks and bottles were
thrown at them,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
In Nablus, in the northern West Bank, several hundred people protested and
burned an American flag,
AMERICAN FLAGS BURNED
The largest protests were in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Islamist
group Hamas, with at least 30,000 Palestinians staging rallies across the
Some 25,000 took to the streets of Gaza City, answering a call by Hamas and
the smaller Islamic Jihad faction and waving the green and black flags of the
American and Israeli flags were set alight, along with an effigy of the
Protesters in Afghanistan set fire to an effigy of Obama and burned a U.S.
flag after Friday prayers in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Directing their anger against the U.S. pastor who supported the film, tribal
leaders also agreed to put a $100,000 bounty on his head.
About 10,000 people held a noisy protest in the Bangladeshi capital. They
burned U.S. flags, chanted anti-U.S. slogans and demanded punishment for the
offenders, but were stopped from marching to the U.S. embassy. There was no
Thousands of Iranians held nationwide protests. There were also rallies in
Malaysia, Nigeria, Jordan, Kenya, Bahrain, Qatar, Bangladesh, Pakistan and
(Additional reporting by Mohammed Ghobari in Sanaa, Samia Nakhoul in Beirut,
Ulf Laessing and Khalid Abdelaziz in Khartoum, Gareth Jones in Berlin, Suleiman
Al-Khalidi in Benghazi, Marie-Louise Gumuchian in Libya, Sami Aboudi in Dubai,
Raissa Kasolowsky in Abu Dhabi, Aref Mohammed in Basra, Iraq, Siva Sithraputhran
in Kuala Lumpur, Anis Ahmed in Bangladesh, Regan Doherty in Doha, Roberto
Landucci in Italy and Mirwais Harooni in Kabul; Writing by Philippa Fletcher;
Editing by Peter Millership and Alastair Macdonald)