Promoting the power of youth at the 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates

Monday, February 6, 2017 - 15:53

The 16th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates took place from February 2 to 5, 2017 in Bogotá, Colombia. The Summit is internationally recognized as the most important annual event in the field of peacemaking, attracting Nobel Peace Laureates, high-profile leaders, organizations, students, and professors from around the globe. After the recent peace accord with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), the Summit came as Colombia marks what it hopes is the beginning of the end of a 52-year war.

KidsRights has been a proud contributor to the Summit since 2004. In that year, the International Children’s Peace Prize was launched at the Summit at the Capitol in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate.

KidsRights, together with International Children’s Peace Prize winners Chaeli Mycroft (2011) and Kehkashan Basu (2016), travelled to Bogotá to promote the power of children and youth as changemakers for peace. Over 600 students from 17 countries joined us at the Summit. 

Chairman and Founder of KidsRights, Marc Dullaert, took the stage at the opening day, together with Chaeli and Kehkashan, to express the value of securing meaningful youth participation: “Stop paying lip service. Institutionalize real participation for youth. Stop treating youth as mere recipients of aid; it is a waste of their great potential.” 16-year old Kehkashan powerfully spoke out on environmental sustainability: “Time is not on our side. We must stop this ecocide, otherwise we will soon see polar bears under palm trees.”

KidsRights organized workshops for young changemakers at the Summit, to inspire and stimulate them to connect and showcase their projects. Through group discussions, youth participants jointly unraveled the barriers young people face to contribute to peace. They also put forward their best practices, solutions and recommendations for positive change.

Closing off the Summit successfully, Chaeli and Kehkashan, together with two powerful Colombian young changemakers, were awarded the Turner Social Change Prize in support of their activism: A well-deserved global recognition of their unceasing efforts to move the world!  

KidsRights looks back at an inspiring, informative and empowering week. La Paz es con todos!