2012 Youth Peace Camp, starting today, is a symbol of the work done with and for
young people by the Council of Europe over the last four decades and more.
The camp, which runs until
30 June, is being held at the
Strasbourg European Youth Centre, which celebrates its 40th
anniversary this year.
There are 51 participants
from conflict-stricken regions: Armenia,
Kosovo (various communities), Georgia,
the Russian Federation,
and the Palestinian National Authority.
The objective is to engage
young people and youth organisations in dialogue and conflict transformation
activities through human rights education and intercultural learning, to leave
them with positive experiences of living and learning with others. The peace
camp provides a unique opportunity for many young people to meet their
neighbours from "the other side" of the conflict face to face for the first
Following the 2011 Peace
Camp, six Israeli and Palestinian participants have decided to hold regular
monthly meetings on the so-called "green line", creating a joint group engaged
in community work.
The Council of Europe has
also created 75
Youth Peace Ambassadors, the result of an idea put forward by the youth
leaders who sit side by side with government officials to decide on the
Organisationâs policies, programmes and priorities regarding young people. This
power-sharing system (known as âco-managementâ) is unique in the world.
Deputy Secretary General's
quote for the media
Maud de Boer-Buquicchio
said: "Since 40 years, the Council of Europe has been promoting policies to
build trust and to foster dialogue among young people from different
communities. Today, our young generations are affected by the growth of
nationalism in Europe and social unrest
resulting from the financial crisis. Exclusion of social groups is not an
answer. Young people are too often involved in violent conflicts against their
will. Peace cannot be built without respect for human rights and no democracy is
possible without diversity. These youth camps allow young people from different
communities to get together in a safe environment: they learn from each other
and from the trainers, but we also learn a great deal from them".
Giuseppe Zaffuto, Media
+33 3 90 21 56
04 ; Mobile
+33 6 86 32 10 24
For more information see: www.coe.int / www.coe.ge