Participating the International Youth Forum: Building Peace in the World

By Siti Sulastri (KOMINFO BEM FMIPA 2013)


         World peace has always been a highlight  in various international forums and organizations. Many forums had raised the issue in a various conferences, such as the International Youth Forum with the theme The Role of Youth: Action on the Millennium Development Goals Toward a Peaceful World (June 2008), Indonesian Youth Forum with the International Interfaith Young Leaders Conference; Interfaith Summit 2012 (October 2012), Munich: The International Peace Conference (February 2013) and which will be held in Thailand on next May 2013 is the Youth Peace Ambassador International (YPA6) Training Workshop: From Ethical Minds to Ethical Action. All of them, directly or indirectly, are very closely related to the themes and the issues of world peace. Essentially, world peace is the ultimate goal of humanity.

If we want to think, nowadays the world has lost the commitment to make a peace, that is the world peace. This can be seen through many conflicts in this world, for example the conflict between Palestine-Israel that can be seen clearly. In fact, world peace is needed to maintain the stability of the world (which means also the stability of the country). With stability, there will be cooperation in regional or international fairly and mutually.

People carry on the world peace, from religious leaders, state leaders, and even the youth. Youth who have also a strategic role in achieving world peace can express positive messages to all surrounding societies. With a fiery enthusiasm, youth can reflect the energy of unity and togetherness to achieve the world peace. Therefore, in this paper the author will focus on the issues related to peace, which can be achieved with the role of youth. Youth who think ahead, think critically, want to work both regional and international levels, initiate the concept of world peace that can be realized. Nowadays we know that the problem of peace is not only an urgent problem for the nation but also the world.  The problem of peace is  one of the five developed global issues. The main five of global issues which being emerged (Ariefa Efianingrum, 2011) are related to pollution, poverty, peaceful, population, and problem of social conflict.

Understanding of World Peace

In the study of peace, peace is understood in two senses. First, peace is the absence or reduction in any kind of violence. Second, peace is the transformation of non-violent conflict. From two definitions above, it can be concluded that peace is what we have when creative conflict transformation takes place without violence. Generally, the understanding of violence only refer to action taken physically and it has a direct effect. These limitation are too minimalistic because the reference focuses on the absence or physical destruction only.

Peace is not merely a matter of the absence of violence or non-violence situation. Peace should contain a definition of justice and progress. World peace will not be achieved if the rate of spread of the disease, injustice, poverty hopelessness are not been minimized. Peace is not about the use of creative method of non-violence to any violence, but it should be able to create a balanced and harmony situation, which has to be equal and balance for all side. So, world peace is the absence of violence and inequality of the conflict between countries around the world.

Achieving the World Peace

Together, we must believe that world peace someday will actually be realized. Just confident is not enough and will never change the condition. There must be real effort that we have to do together with countries around the world. Until now, it is true that there are effort of diplomacy and inter-state meeting in order to achieve world peace. In the end, what is achieved only points of agreement or some sort of collective agreements that have not been able to change the situation.

There are several solutions or attempts according to Cipto Wardoyo which must be done to achieve world peace, they are:

  1. Cultural Approach

To achieve the peace we must know the culture of each society or country. Or it will be useless to our effort. By knowing the culture of each society or country we can understand the characteristics of the community or the State. From the culture and characteristic of the community or the State, we can take the appropriate and effective measures for bringing the peace. This cultural approach is the most effective way to bring peace to the people of Indonesia and the world.

  1. Social and Economic Approach

In this approach the intended social and economic issues relate to welfare and social factor in the community that help to influence on the realization of world peace effort, example less prosperous people are close to commit conflict and violence. Less prosperous communities or countries usually will “do not take care” under the issue and cry of peace. So, to support the realization of world peace, the first thing which must be done is to improve the distribution of welfare across the society and the State in the world.

  1.  Political Approach

Through cultural and socio-economic approaches, it have not been effective yet to bring world peace. It needs political interference, in the sense that there is a political agenda to emphasize and proclaim for the establishment of world peace. Moreover, it is important for developed and a superpower countries which have power in the world. Superpower countries at a certain times must be brave to use their power to “do a bit of pressure” on countries that commit conflict to make peace again, but not to make the chaotic situation, with the intention to continue selling weapons.

  1.  Religious Approach

In essence, all religious people in this world would want the peace. There is no religion that teaches crime, violence or war. All countries teaches kindness, caring and peace. Therefore, each of us who have religion and one God certainly must participate to concern in bringing peace in the community and around the world. The religious leaders who have a great influence in the community should participate actively proclaiming for peace.

          Nowadays we have found many problems occur in the society. The best way to achieve the world peace is the awareness and thought of ourself, do not act arbitrarily in order to avoid misunderstandings and conflict or commotion in the community.

          Youth and the Contribution

          There are various definitions of the word ‘youth’, both in terms of physical and psychological as well as the question whether it is equal with the youth spirit or age. Princeton defines the word youth in Websters dictionary as “the time of life between childhood and maturity; early maturity; the state of being young or immature or inexperienced; the freshness and vitality characteristic of a young person“.
Different definition is shown by the Quran. In Quranic language, youth also called “ash-syabab”, is defined in the characteristics  and attitudes such as:

  1. Brave to remodel and act revolutionary against the broken system, like the story of young man (Prophet) Ibrahim (QS.Al-Anbiya ‘, 21:59-60).
  2. Have a standard of morality (faith), perception, unity, optimistic and steadfast in the establishment and consistent in the words. It is as illustrated in the story of Ash-habul Kahf (cave youth) (QS. Al-Kahfi, 18: 13-14).
  3. Does not despair, never retreat before the goal is reached. It is as illustrated in the personal youth (Prophet) Musa (Surat al-Kahfi, 18: 60).

So, youth is identical as individual who has productive age and has a distinctive character that is specific such as revolutionary, optimistic, forward-thinking, morality, etc. The most prominent weakness of a young man is controlling the emotional, while the most prominent advantage of youth dealing with change, either in the form of social and cultural change by becoming the agent of change.

          Youth is a generation which has many burden in the soulder, bring expectations especially from other generations. This can be understood because the youth is expected as the next generation, the generation that will continue the struggle of the previous generation, the generation that fill and continue the development. In society, youth is a potential identity. Its strategic position is as a successor of national goal and human resources for nation building.

World Peace and International Youth Forum

          The important role of a young man is in the ability to make changes. Change is an indicator of a success for a youth movement. Change has a very strong magical . Its power is very great so that it can make a person’s work to be more productive. Desire for a change of spirit make an optimistic individual. Optimistic that the next day will be better.

          In this case,we can see the dominance that can be done by the youth. We can imagine if only one youth can contribute actively to the surrounding environment, how about when many young men have the same vision and mission to promote world peace. International Youth Forum can be a momentum to exchange ideas, experiences, and discussions to achievethe world peace. Inevitably, we live in a world which is so complex and plural. Moreover, all the countries in the world have the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses. We live side by side in the world, but on the other hand we also compete what we commonly refers to as the effect of globalization. One thing that needs to be underlined is, with the international youth forum, at least we can generate an output in the form of declarations and resolutions on the issue of world peace at the United Nations. Furthermore, the result can be applied to the country of origin of the young men who join the forum. More important thing is the attitude internalization of tolerance and desire for achieving the peace. Internalization which is brought by the youth can became a spirit of its own to make the change movement. Started from small thing, sorrounding environment up to energy which are spreading achieve the world peace. Youth, can be a valuable asset on this internalization, because in future youth will hold the nation. It can be imagined when youth understand the essence of peace, a sense of sharing and giving, we can be sure that youth can become a true leader and role model in today and tomorrow. Resolution in the international youth forum on world peace should also syncronize with existing approaches, the approach of cultural, social, economic, political and religious. Certainly, with the gathering of youth from around the world, it will be achieved more comprehensive result globally.

In the end, all of these are how we understand the importance of the International Youth Forum to promote world peace. Moreover, the internalization of tolerance and mutual understanding, make some contribution to the people in their environment. International Youth Forum, resolution, tolerance internalization, presumably will still resound energy. Positive energy that exist, will not evaporate with the end of a meeting (in this case is the conference), but it will turn into tiny particles of positive energy that will spread to all corners of the world to achieve the true peace through the youth cadres.