Can total peace be achieved? Coventry took up this challenge.

Over the past year almost 30.000 crimes have been committed in Coventry. These numbers indicate the violence still existing around us and the resulting threats that we are all afraid of. It would seem that we live in a world where everyone enjoys total peace however, wars and violence are still experienced every day and make it difficult to achieve the intended goal.

Rising Global Peace Forum has launched 2 years ago in Coventry, since then in cooperation with the Coventry City Council they counteract the issue of violence and war by pushing forward new ways of thinking about peace and conflicts in our turbulent world.

Nowadays, young people looking for successful and happy lives are afraid that they don’t have a future therefore, spreading awareness of peace – which should form the foundation of our lives – is extremely important. Otherwise we might experience some terrifying memories of the war again just like Zain Luke Ali from Rising Global Peace Forum, “I remember seeing 9/11, Holy Cross dispute in Northern Ireland. I remember seeing and learning a lot of hatful things that happened in the world and I think knowing what has happened before is very eye-opening and show us that life and the world are moving in the better direction and we don’t want to hold it up”

There are still many aspects to be improved in order to achieve peace at a satisfactory level as it’s almost impossible to enjoy total peace; however, we can easily get closer to success by following some crucial rules. Zain mentions “Taking notice, learning about it and prevent ourselves from judging other people are the main ways to start building a sense of peace in our lives.”

The organisation believes that the most important key that slightly brings us closer to improvement in terms of peace is the possibility to talk to each other so we realise that we are very similar, despite our origin, colour of skin or religion. In America, despite various cultures, peace is more visible than in Europe or Asia, this stamps from the different approach of authorities and groups of people. “In Colombia, the young generation is the first one living without a war. And that’s fantastic to be able to show young people today these places where peace is being maintained” said Zain.

Rising Global Peace Forum aims to spread awareness of peace and they are also known for their annual events organised in Coventry and oversees that bring people, policymakers and peacemakers together in order to provoke peace and peaceful relations. Every year the event gathers many significant guests and keynote speaker who share their experiences, inspire others and provoke peace. “Sharing of experience is the most powerful methodology that we can, so simply telling people about our personal experiences is part of that. But actually, exchanging experiences, engaging with practitioners who’ve been in front line is very powerful.” says Mike Hardy, Executive Director of Rising Global Peace Forum.

These events are run by people from over 70 countries, tackling the problem on the global scale.  In November 2017, an annual World Science Forum for Peace was held whose guiding motive was radicalized young people. It is among the youth that it is important to plant a sense of value and peace as they build the future of the world for us and for themselves. “We focus on provoking people to think about peaceful relationships as a norm, not as something we have to generate because of the all the conflicts. Young people are the future of the world, but they are also present” explains Mike.

It’s obvious that young people are constantly look for a role model. Old people are one of them and the young generation is willing to trust them knowing that they experienced a lot in their lives, so might give them, possibly, valuable tips. That’s why events are also joined by the older guests who provoke peace through their experiences. “Old people have amazing resources in terms of their memories. They have memories sometimes very positive and pleasant and sometimes very painful and hard. We can’t forget the past, but we mustn’t of course construct the future on the basis of the past and into generation conversation it allows us to draw experience from older people and to refresh that with exuberance of young people” said Mike.

In today’s society everyone desires peace, however the process of forming it on the global scale will surely take a long time to come. One is for sure – nothing will change until we start talking to each other, respect ourselves and remember that we are all the same, despite differences in our appearance or the language that we speak. Coventry is a place where peace-building initiatives are being planted, therefore getting involved in them will allow us to create a better future for each of us.

Michal Wojtczak

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