Global Peace Youth Exchange Thailand 2016 hosted more than 200 young leaders including students from top local universities and colleges and delegates representing 11 countries (India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, USA, and Albania). “I didn’t expect it going into it, but I truly came out a different person,” shared Samuel Shreve, a graduate from the GPYE in Thailand. “I was changed in ways I never thought possible from just a week.”
It has become increasingly apparent that youth have a critical role in peacebuilding and development. Notably at the end of 2015, the United Nation Security Council issued a historic resolution that focused on the role of youth in peacebuilding and countering violent extremism. The Global Peace Youth Exchange is a transformative program that seeks to foster a global network of motivated young men and women and empower them to participate in advancing peace and development goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Through participation in decision-making and creative implementation of the United Nation’s SDGs, participants from diverse backgrounds exchange ideas on local and global issues. Through opportunities to dialog with faith and community leaders, GPYE encourages youth leaders to foster cooperation and a global mindset to strengthen and discover inherent qualities within themselves and apply moral and innovation solutions to challenges in their communities.
The GPYE in Thailand opened with a SDG Youth Empowerment program hosted by the United Nations ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific). Delegates interacted with top Thailand University representatives and the Secretary General of the World Assembly of Youth, paying particular focus on SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
A cleanup project followed the program, promoting environmental responsibility. Participants discussed ongoing plans to work together implementing long-term solutions for building environmentally responsible communities.
Global Peace Youth Exchange partners included UNESCAP, UNEP Asia Pacific, the World Assembly of Youth, and schools, including Thammasat University and Samut Songkhram Technical College, and governmental institutions within the Samutsongkhram Province.
View the full gallery HERE.