The annual Youth Peace Camp, organised by the Youth Department engages young people and youth organisations from conflict affected regions in dialogue and conflict transformation activities based on human rights education and intercultural learning during and after the camp.
In 2017, between 30 April-7 May the camp brought together 70 young people in the European Youth Centre Strasbourg from the following conflict affected communities: Kosovo*, participants coming from Albanian, Serbian and other backgrounds; Ukraine, especially from border regions and from Luhansk and Donetsk and the South Caucasus, in particular from border regions and ethnic minorities. In the framework of the Cyprus Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, the camp also includes participants from Cyprus (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots). The programme of the camp is paying a particular attention to the role of hate speech in armed conflict and connect with No Hate Speech Movement campaign at European and national levels.
The activity was attended by Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, the Deputy Secretary General on the 3rd day of the camp, a day dedicated to exploring the meanings and understandings of conflict, and to explaining the Council of Europe’s approach to conflict resolution and peace-building. The DSG’s intervention emphasised the values and principles that underpin the Council’s work. The DSG’s speech was preceded the message by Ambassador Theodora Constantinidou (Cyprus) that was read out for the participants. Alexandre Guessel, the Director of Political Affairs also addressed the participants and dealt with a number of more specific questions on the same day.
* All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.