The first twenty years of the 21st century have almost passed and, in spite of the impressive technological development of the last decades, we still witness human rights violations and threats to peace all over the world. Wealth and power are in the hands of a greedy minority of the world population, while the planet is suffering from exploitation and practices which are no more sustainable. Confronted with injustice, inequality and oppression, it is easy to give in to the temptation to react adopting aggressive and violent methods. This is the reason why it becomes essential to propose strategies, solutions and instruments featuring non-violence, dialogue, social inclusion and a participatory decision- making process.
Such values are even more important for the new generations. The adults of tomorrow (today’s youth) will have to manage, handle and solve several challenges in a constructive and creative way. Very probably the most pressing issue in the future years will consist in dealing with limited and reducing resources. This scenario will require a new kind of personal and professional competences, combined with creativity and the ability to actively involve as many people as possible in the decision-making process. When proposing solutions, we will need to put emphasis not only on the result (solving a problem) but also on the process (how the problem is solved). In a nutshell: outcomes, achievements and performances are worthless, if they are imposed unilaterally by elites and minorities, exploiting the environment, disregarding people’s lives and violating human rights to achieve controversial objectives, such as growth or productivity.
With the Global Human Rights Week, we showcased the activities carried out by our IVS members and like-minded organisations based in different continents aimed at promoting human rights and peace through non-violent and participatory methods. Volunteering, involvement of local communities, commitment and enthusiasm are the key-factors which support our initiatives. People may think that they are just small actions, producing only a limited impact. During the last 6 days we gave visibility to several projects and activities, in order to prove that the effects of such actions are much stronger and powerful than we might think. By working together, we realise that our voices can be heard and our deeds can produce a real change, both at a local and a global level.
CCIVS thanks all the participating networks, activists and volunteers who contributed to this year GHRW, implementing actions, creating contents and promoting the initiative all over the world. Special thanks go to the Council of Europe and to the European Youth Foundation for supporting the GHRW and Raising Peace.