Youth key to a better and peaceful future: Experts

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New Delhi:  As nations war, inequality widens and an ever-growing humanitarian challenge of a global refugee crisis threatens peaceful existence, the promise of a better future lies in the hands of the youth, a symposium here has stressed.

The call for global peace and solidarity was made at the conference centring around Soka Gakkai International (SGI) president Daisaku Ikeda’s 2017 peace proposal titled “The Global Solidarity of Youth: Ushering in a New Era of Hope”.

The SGI is a Buddhist NGO with branches across the world, including many in India.

Held by the Indian arm of SGI, Bharat Soka Gakkai, Friday’s symposium, attended by eminent economists, classical dancers and defence and planning experts, focussed on different aspects of development through which global coexistence can be achieved.

Invoking the September 11 attacks in the US, C Uday Bhaskar, security and strategic affairs expert, said that “global peace was more elusive now than ever”.

“We are just days away from Sept 11 and all of you are aware of the significance, the corrosive resonance of Sept 11. Sixteen years later, I submit it to your consideration that global peace is even more elusive this year than it was in the last,” he said.

“Its desirability has been burnished by a few more notches given the kind of challenges to global peace. But nonetheless I believe the efforts now should be made with renewed vigour,” Bhaskar, retired commodore in Indian Navy, said.

He noted that the younger generations require “higher levels of awareness of the problem at hand” pointing at the increasing nuclear risk ranging from Hiroshima to Fukushima.

Elaborating on the economy’s part in achieving global peace mentioned in the proposal, Rajat Kathuria of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) said that conflict could be reduced by increasing trade between countries.

“The probability of conflict reduces considerably if two countries or a group of countries trade with each other or are economically interdependent. That’s one way to approach it,” Kathuria said.

To create a peaceful environment inside the country, he pointed out that more employment opportunities would reduce inequality in society and lead to a peaceful future for the coming generations.

Eminent classical dancer Prathibha Prahlad reflected upon Ikeda’s words about young people’s part in upholding and protecting the core values of human rights.

She also said a deep connection to culture was required.

“Education needs to be linked to culture. Culture of hearts brings people together, it teaches us to respect others and yourself. If we make an effort to understand other cultures and their traditions, and they do the same, we can all aim for a better future with respect for each other in our hearts,” she said.

The 35th peace proposal by Ikeda says that the “world should go beyond looking at the problem of displaced persons in terms of numbers and build just and inclusive societies”.

Ikeda has listed three priority areas crucial to a peaceful society as well as to attaining the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

In his proposal he highlighted “prohibiting and abolishing nuclear weapons, restoring hope in the hearts of refugees and building a culture of human rights” as the primary tools for a better world.

Source: Outlook India

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