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“Peace and development”
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“Peace and development”

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Omang AgarwalPeace and development are two sides of the same coin, writes Omang Agarwal, 19, a Correspondent from India, as he reflects on how peace affects both individuals and nations.

Peace has become a very important issue with reference to the current sufferings being witnessed by fellow “earth-ians” from different countries. The civil wars in Iraq and Syria, the Paris attacks, the crisis in Africa, the situation in Nepal and the Male hostage crisis all have one thing  in common, which is the disturbance being caused to establishing and sustaining peace.

Engaging youth in this type of scenario has always helped in more than one way. It is important to understand how we can engage the youth in different ways for building and sustaining immediate and long term peace, especially with the Commonwealth Youth Civil Activist Network Launch during CHOGM. The youth of 2015 need to understand how development, awareness, cultural engagement and advocacy can help ground level workers and governments in establishing peace and striking an balance in developing countries.

With the experience of 2015 blended in the history of the Homo sapiens, it is astonishing to see that peace, the basic need of coexistence, is still being sought every day. The facts and figures don’t seem to contradict this, with their loud cries appealing for peace. No country in the world today, with their stomping pace of action, can argue about absolute peace prevailing in their state. The perfect excuse is that conflicts are a part of human existence. If one argues this, and adds the word “modern” as prefix to human existence, one has prepared a perfect recipe with all possible evil  ingredients to betray the youth of the 21st century.

I use this negative example to communicate about a subject which is symbolized with the purest of white shades.  As a matter of fact, peace has a wider aspect than is widely preached or known. Peace today to some is what Mahatma Gandhi wanted to achieve through his great work, and to some it would be what Hitler never stood for. The question that arises, therefore, is what is this phenomenon of peace?

Peace has wider concepts to it, ranging  from proving the three basic human amenities of food, clothing, and shelter to providing equal opportunity in employment; from a united global village to quota reservations for small communities based on race, creed, language and regions.

Is peace a synonym for development or the urgent need for rehabilitation?  Why I ask is that with a loss in efficiency of the organized sector to provide developmental measures, we see absence of peace due to various kinds of disturbances: civil wars, armament stockpiling, and militant groups. Development in large scale gets vastly affected.

With my experience as a youth worker for peace I have always had this question about peace and development.  After much discussion, I have come to a simple conclusion that both peace and development are two sides of a coin.

The key element is how we balance both. “Peaceful Development” and “Developmental Peace” are the terms to be used here.

So if the youth were to take action on such issues they would need to keep in mind both the notions of development and peace together, or perhaps use both in an inter-connected manner.

  • Linking any one one of the 17 SDG’s and working on them in any part of the world which has been affected with natural or armed conflict that hampers peace.
  • Working with the refugee issue in trying to get one of the 17 SDG causes attached to the refugees.
  • Working on negotiations with groups/civil societies/governments in trying to allow development in any field. The primary aim would be to establish peace by solving (with negotiations) the matter of conflict.
  • Campaigning to mobilize youth and public opinion relating to any field of work. When opinions of all people are taken in framing projects and policies, peace can be maintained by eliminating the notions of conflict.

Peace, being a wide concept which can be related to a lot of other concepts in the world, can be widely spoken about. Peace within oneself and outside an individual is similar to peace in the country and outside it. Perhaps unity and harmony are the characteristic features here. Development can help in promoting and maintain both, thereby, making peace and development a perfect pair.

Reach me on Twitter @Omang_Agarwal
photo credit: Doves of peace via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a Social worker, adventurer and motivational speaker. I work in the area of education and peace building. I love to sing, dance, cook, eat different kinds of food and find peace in silent spots and old age homes.  I dream to have a world with rational youth who can voice opinions and reasons. I love helping the youth with their problems, and I love writing as it brings peace and ability to communicate efficiently.…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

 

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