Own Correspondent

THE International Peace Youth Group (IPYG) is running a youth-led campaign to write letters to the head of each country urging for a response on a call made in 2018 for the support of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).

The goal is to gain support at the UN General Assembly.

On the 14 th of March 2019, the peace letters gathered from all sectors of society will be delivered to the presidents of 193 countries.

IPYG believes that in order to make world peace a reality, every individual of our global society must advocate for peace.

Zimbabwean youth join in this campaign to plea to His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa to support the DPCW.

The spirit of the campaign is based on the values written in the Declaration of Peace Cessation of War (DPCW).

It was drafted by 21 international law experts and proclaimed on the 14 March 2016.

It is composed of 10 articles and 38 clauses which include the prohibition of the use of force, friendly relations, dispute settlement, and spreading a culture of peace.

Many of the youth in Zimbabwe this week wrote heartfelt letters to His Excellency to plea for his support and response.

One touching letter was from a student at Mufakose High School who expressed despair in trying to cope with bullying at her school.

“I am facing challenges at school such as bullying in my school and location. I am being bullied by other kids because they think they own everyone around them. I cannot even walk around anymore because of fear, they threaten to hit me and are not afraid of cops.”

This was echoed in many of the letters expressing fear caused by violence in their communities.

Others cried out on drug abuse, with many being youths having been coerced into using at young ages.

Despite their love for the country, the youths exclaimed how unsafe their communities had become and the places they call home cannot protect them.

“I am a boy aged 15 years old. I don’t know what I can do to avoid being bullied. At my school, I don’t have peace, I am trying to find out where peace is but I am failing to have it. I love my country because I have my responsibility, but I am failing to have peace.”

In their pursuit for peace, the youth of Zimbabwe plea to His Excellency to help them live and learn in peaceful societies.

In 2018, about 1 million individuals from 176 countries wrote peace letters to their presidents.

From the group, youth from 23 countries delivered the hand-written letters to nine former and current presidents, and prime ministers from eight countries.

Currently, nations such as Seychelles, the Kingdom of eSwatini as well as the international community such Central American Parliament, Pan-African Parliament (PAP) under the African Union (AU) have supported the declaration.

Government officials and civic groups are seeking ways to drive principles of peace based on the DPCW, through adoption of a peace curriculum to develop related policies and programs.

Earlier this month the nation of Cambodia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to introduce nationwide peace education based on the principles of the DPCW.

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