Nairobi, 21 September 2017 – Youth, diplomats and local leaders came to the UN Office of Nairobi today to celebrate International Peace Day.
Hosted by UN-Habitat, the event highlighted some of the work that the agency is doing around the world to promote the active role that youth are playing in peace building and keeping.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said that the event was a reminder of “the commitment of youth, that you do not want to be passive participants, but leaders in your own futures.”
Elizabeth Taylor Jay, The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Colombia to Kenya and Chol M. U. Ajongo, South Sudan Ambassador to Kenya both drew on their countries’ own experience in drawn-out conflict to highlight the challenge of building lasting peace.
Respect, safety and dignity for all
As Mr Ajongo said: “You lose nothing when you talk of peace; you lose everything when you talk of war.”
The session went on to include discussions with youth groups on the role that sport can play in peace-building and development, under the theme of the day – “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” – with a special focus on the engagement of young men and women in peace building.
Meanwhile in New York, UN-Habitat also hosted a youth and peace event in the sidelines of the General Assembly with the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake.