Encounter of Youth Leaders Impacts Mexico: Peace and Development InitiativesGlobal Embassy of Activists for Peace

Encounter of Youth Leaders Impacts Mexico: Peace and Development Initiatives


More than 8,000 young people summoned by GEAP gathered at “The Americas" Cultural Center in Ecatepec, State of Mexico, to discuss issues around the integral formation of the human being, towards a culture of peace.

"There is not a single limit that will stop you ... If the sky is the limit, then let's go to space," said Rafa Reyes in his shocking testimony of life.

"As young people we are the basis of sustainability," said Andrea Chávez, Mexico's delegate to the United Nations.

With the aim of creating an international space that allows young people and institutions to exchange proposals that contribute to peace building and the development of their nation, the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) with the Mexican Youth Institute (IMJUVE) organized the Encounter of Youth Leaders for Peace, with the theme: "Motivating integral youth formation".

 It was attended by young people from 25 states of Mexico, delegations of educational institutions and the Confederation of University Students of Mexico, among others; and with representation of Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala, Jamaica and the United States.

Youth leaders of outstanding careers developed themes focused on human rights, justice, integral education, sustainable development, personal improvement and transformational leadership, based on their achievements and life example.

Among the personalities present, Dorian Rommens, representing UNESCO-Mexico; the delegate of Mexico to the UN on issues of Youth, Peace and Security, Andrea Chavez; Pablo Alpire, youth delegate to the UN for Latin America; the candidate for Nobel Peace Prize 2017, Daniel Rodríguez; Jerome Cowans (Jamaica), Young Leader Award.

Also, Tito Quiroz, National Youth Award 2015; Rafael Reyes, biomedical engineer; José Manuel Romero, director general of IMJUVE; Gabriela Lara, director general of the GEAP; and Francisco Guerra, national coordinator of the GEAP in Mexico.

This encounter of young people with peace initiatives is a line of action of the GEAP Youth Movement, which aims to form integral leaders, young people who transform society through planning, project actions, campaigns and strategies aimed at strengthening justice, peace and happiness of the human family.

Mexico is the epicenter of upcoming national and international meetings of this Youth Movement, to promote the action of young people as protagonists of change and development.

Music in the frequency of peace to begin

As a prelude to the Encounter of Youth Leaders for Peace, a Symphonic Concert was held in the Chapultepec Palace, Mexico City, to welcome the youth delegations and personalities present. The event was enlivened by the National Symphony Orchestra of the GEAP in Mexico, which interpreted musical pieces tuned in the frequency of peace: 432 Hz.

The concert was conducive to the presentation of the program The Power of Music for Peace and Happiness of the Integral Human Being, developed by the GEAP; this initiative promotes the power of music as a tool to achieve the peace of the human being, sowing in the hearts of people ethical, moral and spiritual values.

Inaugural Protocol. The opening of the Encounter was also enlivened by a musical performance by the GRAP National Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by the Folkloric Ballet, and the special presentation of the Mexican National Mariachi; with the intonation of the National Anthem of Mexico and a parade of flags from different countries, representing the integration, the event was initiated.

Integration and strategies to promote youth action

"Today, Mexico has a great opportunity to work with young people; 37 million and a half young people between 12 and 29 years of age. We are the second country in all of Ibero America that has the highest amount of youths, which represents a great opportunity if we seize all that potential, that talent, but above all the desire to do many things,” said the director of the Mexican Youth Institute, José Manuel Romero Coello, in opening words.

The leader confirmed that IMJUVE and the Secretariat of Social Development will continue to work for the rights of Mexican youth, and in conjunction with the GEAP, they will continue to promote such events.

Gabriela Lara, GEAP Representative
The GEAP's director, Gabriela Lara, in her participation indicated that the GEAP Youth Movement is currently being developed in 22 countries and comprises a network of 30,000 people who work actively in all the programs and projects of the Institution, young people from the 13 years old.

"We know that this event, where we are integrating and working together, is the beginning of a message that will impact the heart of every young person, not only in Mexico, but worldwide," said Lara.

For his part, the national coordinator of GEAP for Mexico, Francisco Guerra, said: "We have to recognize that there is a climate of unrest and exacerbated violence, and we cannot remain with our arms crossed; it is not enough to be observers of the problems that afflict us, we must become actors of change. You, young people, have in your hands that change that society requires".

He emphasized that the path to change is education based on universal principles and values.

UNESCO-Mexico participated in the Youth Encounter.

Dorian Rommens, representing Nuria Sanz, Unesco director and representative in Mexico, mentioned that UNESCO has a specific strategy to establish constructive alliances with youth associations and parties intertwined with youth, based on the premise that young people are the key actors for development and peace.

"UNESCO applies a global version dedicated to the future, recognizing the role of young people as agents of change, social transformations for peace and sustainable development," said the young Rommens.

The H. Town Hall of Ecatepec was also represented, for the 2nd. Regidor Luis Flores Balcázar. In the opening statement said that the municipality of Ecatepec works to make the voice of young people heard and put into practice. "The solution of the challenges ahead is in us as young people," he said.

Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Workshop for Peace

UN Youth. To talk about "Youth Competitiveness and the Solution to the Challenges of the 21st Century", was invited the youth delegate to the UN for Latin America, Pablo Alpire (Bolivia). In his lecture he noted that young people represent an opportunity to achieve development and peace through their abilities, talents, creativity and innovation. He said that youths can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The youth leader at another point stressed: "Your life has an impact on the lives of others and you decide whether that impact is positive or negative." He recommended to acquire three habits: "honesty, especially when assuming leadership; Integrity, being what we say; and love, wanting the best for others, giving the best of themselves."

He concluded: "It is not a matter of literally changing the whole world, but our world, our closest environments. No matter where you are, the difference makes you. If you live in a place where there is no development, it is your opportunity to contribute to development."

Without fears and without limits

With a testimony of inspiring life, Rafael Reyes Velasco, Biomedical Engineer, musician, lecturer and entrepreneur, better known as Rafa Reyes, presented the conference "Without fears and without limits".

"When a person is happy, they invite peace with others." With this phrase he began his reflection on the importance of attitude. He said that the vast majority of problems people have is a negative attitude towards life.

Exposición en Encuentro
Rafa Reyes emphasized three aspects that he considers fundamental for the realization of life, the achievement of goals and dreams: The power of decision, self-confidence and happy places, the latter explained that it refers to family, friends, passions or activities of preference.

"The first decision I made in my life was to be happy; because being happy or not, is in you,” he added that the power of decision can transform the environment of the person. "I stopped seeing me as the poor little Rafita, who has no arms and legs, and I began to see myself as a lion that wants to eat the world; I myself began to anticipate and do things I did not do, "he said.

From his experience he exhorted: "If you start making good decisions that make you happy people, if you start to trust yourself and take refuge in those happy places, nothing will stop you in this world to achieve your dreams."

With extreme confidence, Rafa Reyes said: "There is not a single limit that will stop you if you propose to achieve your dreams; if the sky is the limit, then let's go to space." (Listen to lecture)

Youth symposium for integral formation for peace

A group of youth leaders who are nationally and internationally renowned for their peace and development initiatives have addressed different issues focused on the GEAP programs and projects to promote a comprehensive training and youth action for the benefit of mankind.

Justice for Peace

The candidate for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, Daniel Alonso Rodríguez Pérez, developed the theme "Culture of peace and social justice". In his emotional dissertation he expressed:

"I am convinced that it is not necessary to be president of the republic or secretary general of the UN, or to be someone important to change the world ... the world is changed when someone dares to raise the voice for others, when someone becomes responsible for the change and works to rebuild the social fabric".

The young man emphasized that no one was born racist, homophobic or with the idea of ​​violating others. He said that this is being built by a social fabric that has been violated by problems, economic, political and social crisis, surrounded by violence. To change this social fabric, he indicated that education for peace is needed.

"We want a peace that is based on rights and the word," he said.

Social intervention models for a peace policy

Young Leader Award winner Jerome Cowans (Jamaica) began his presentation with a question: "What do you do for peace?"

Surely he said: "Peace is the natural state of society." The youth leader indicated that it is necessary to develop social interventions that work for peace; for this, he pointed out that it is important to consider two aspects: lack of education as the main cause of war, and lack of employment.

"Social interventions must include education and employment. As young people, we must think innovatively,” and added, quoting Nelson Mandela, that education is to understand the value of peace.

(Listen to lecture)

Youth Managers of Life Links - Integral Program: Life is in the Blood

The delegate of Mexico to the UN on issues of Youth, Peace and Security, Andrea Chavez Trevino, developed the theme "Young managers of life and health bonds that contribute to the peace and well-being of the human family."

"As young people we are the basis of sustainability," she said, and in turn said: "My quality as a young person is what makes my community change." According to the leader, being young is a self-determination, it is a social construct that has nothing to do with age.

"If you identify yourself as a young person and identify with the youth community, it is your responsibility to meet the needs of young people. And there are so many young people dying in hospitals because they do not have the opportunity to get blood," she said.

She also said that donating blood is altruistic, and altruism is a vocation, it does not respond to people with specific names, "but I do it in the name of another person only because of being a person." She motivated the youths: "What better way to help our community by responding to adverse situations like natural catastrophes, donating blood; nothing is taken away because blood regenerates."

Finally, she urged public institutions to carry out campaigns or workshops accompanied by youths, spaces where they can develop their skills systematically, emphasizing that young people need mentors.

She added: "All human beings are a great family; I had not understood this concept of human family until the GEAP introduced it to me, to my life; and it is true, we all depend on one another."

The power of music for the peace and happiness of the integral human being

Tito Quiroz, National Youth Award 2015, shared his life experience and the actions that promoted his formation as leader for peace, welfare and social development.

He spoke of his voluntary work with prisoners, and of how through music he could generate a positive impact on them by creating musical schools in prisons.

In his message to the youth he said: "It is possible to achieve progress and a change in society, transforming the lives of others."

ALIUP: International University Alliance for Peace

With the theme "Youth, fertile field to sow the seeds of peace", the rector of the Inter-American Litigation School, Blanca Arroyo Cuevas, described the youth as impetuous, energetic and idealistic. However, she indicated that young people today think that the teachings of kindness, humility and sacrifice are teachings of weakness, an invitation to submit oneself.

She asserted that an overwhelming pattern of excessive violence prevails today. "Perhaps the error is not found in humanity but in the interpretation we have made as a society of correct moral ethical behavior; we are faced with the challenge of peace," she said.

Arroyo exhorted the youth: "You have to transform and push values ​​from the depths of your being. You are the seed of peace, cherish the planet and multiply in a good way."

Educating to Remember "The Holocaust, paradigm of genocide"

In this issue, the Director of Institutional Relations of the Museum Memory and Tolerance, Vivian Silberstein Vogel, spoke about the importance of working with issues that have to do with genocides of the twentieth century to promote reflection, and from this, generate actions for dialogue and tolerance, in order to promote the formation of Activists for Peace and human rights.

She emphasized: "The idea is to want to change, to initiate those small changes, to get involved and not to leave the responsibility in others, or to become activists through social networks just like or not like what we do not like, but actually engaging and being more proactive.”

Sustainability and Environmental Culture - Children of Mother Earth International Program

"The cleanliness and sustainability of the planet is an individual task with collective responsibility," said Oscar Vélez Ruiz, head of Public Policies in Community and Biodiversity. In turn, he stated that to achieve this sustainability "we must be formed in conscience, character and spirit, to assume ourselves as the same with the Earth."

In his presentation "Education, communication and environmental culture for the peace of Mother Earth," he highlighted the urgency of a change of consciousness and responsible action. "The environment, as we continue to deteriorate it, we will automatically be affecting our quality of life," he said.

CSR as an element to achieve the peace and integral happiness of the human family

German Loera Acosta, executive director of INNLAB Mexico, Innovation Director of Red, Magazine, said: "Many young people do not worry about improving our environment, to participate actively, we are only on social networks. We have to focus on our future."

In his CSR-centered discourse as an element in achieving peace, he mentioned several points. Among these, the emotional salary, which he defined as "being comfortable in employment; that our collaborators, colleagues and bosses have a healthy relationship.”