|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference on World Youth Peace Summit
A blossoming partnership between the United Nations and a global youth sporting summit was set to boost activism and encourage dialogue among young people, the event’s founder said at a Headquarters press conference.
“Pathways to peace take many forms,” said Dan Doyle, Founder and Executive Director of the World Youth Peace Summit and Athletic Games, which hosts young “scholar athletes” at its sport and dialogue summits, held in the United States. A programme of the non-governmental organization Institute for International Sport — also founded by Mr. Doyle — the World Youth Peace Summit had hosted youth representatives from 163 countries, he said, adding that its goal was to get all 192 United Nations Member States involved.
To that end, the Summit had recently strengthened its ties to the Organization, Mr. Doyle said, noting that Amir Dossal, Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Partnerships, had been named United Nations Special Envoy to the Peace Summit earlier this week.
Discussing the links between the world body’s goals and those of the World Youth Peace Summit while accompanying Mr. Doyle at the press conference, Mr. Dossal described sport as “one of the greatest equalizers when it comes to addressing global challenges”. The Summit’s many seminars and events amounted to “a dialogue about how [young people] can live together, work together […] and play a leadership role”, he added.
Many examples of youth activism and leadership had already emerged from the Peace Summit’s previous sessions, Mr. Doyle said, recalling the case of one young woman who, after attending the Summit, had been inspired to raise money for children’s cochlear implants in her Mexico City neighbourhood. Other instances of grass-roots leadership — from inner city youth basketball programmes to nuclear non-proliferation campaigns — would certainly emerge from the 2011 Summit, he added.
The upcoming summer would mark a momentous event for the Institute for International Sport when it opened its new Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Mr. Doyle continued. The Centre, to be launched officially on 3 July by Colin Powell, former Secretary of State of the United States, would “manage and cultivate” the many thousands of youth peace initiatives emerging from the Peace Summit. Events around the launch would include a “Peace Walk” to be held in Hartford, Connecticut, and marshalled by Mr. Powell in May, and smaller peace walks around the world.
He went on to say that the 2011 Peace Summit and Athletic Games, to be held in late June and early July, would feature a range of events, seminars and speakers, the latter including former United States Vice-President Al Gore and scholars from universities around the world.
Young people wishing to learn more about applying to attend the World Youth Peace Summit and Athletic Games could do so by visiting the website of the Institute for International Sport: http://internationalsport.com/, Mr. Doyle said.
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