Why young leaders and collaboration are key to a more peaceful world


Gharsanay Amin is a recipient of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Enterprise for Peace Scholarship and will be attending the One Young World 2018 Summit in The Hague. In this blog she writes about the role she thinks young people should take in challenging extremism, and explains why she's looking forward to attending the summit.

I am a firm believer that young people should step in to assume leadership. We are the true forces of change. We have a lot of energy, motivation, and innovative ideas about how the future and present of this planet should look. We need to bring young people together, and pave the way for them to work strategically to develop policies which shape governments, leaders and the world.

Encouraging youth participation in social, economic, political, security and peace related issues is one of the very best ways to bring understanding, peace, love, harmony, and development to the world.

I think the most significant obstacle to peace in my community is the dominant, extremist, culturally deep rooted, historically well practiced, systematically inherited “conservative ideologies/practices” which have given rise to some many other problems. This extremist ideology manipulates the younger generation in violent ways, and they start joining opposition groups of the government. From the other side, the Afghan government is a new democracy. Warlords have been active in Afghanistan for decades. These warlords want to make corruption and disruption in the country more common, since a weak Afghanistan is in their best interest. Young people are getting violent and getting more engaged in extremism and terrorism. Consequently,young people are being used as destructive units in society instead of constructive units and systems.

Participating in the One Young World Summit will be an enriching experience for me. I am currently working closely with the grass root level to connect young people to top level leadership, and working to enhance youth leadership in peacebuilding. It will be a pleasure to share my experiences as a young Afghan woman contributing to youth leadership in Afghanistan, raising young responsible leaders and paving a way for them to find their potential. Moreover, participating in the Summit is a chance for me to enhance my skills and join a strong connected network which will affect youth leadership globally. This will be a rewarding and life changing experience, connecting youth to a diverse, well connected like-minded strong network from across the world.

The One Young World Summit is the biggest youth gathering opportunity. Young people listen to extraordinary leaders, establish long lasting friendships and contacts, and observe and analyze the action plans of young leaders from across the world. This in turn will give us the opportunity to reflect, see the commonalities and find a middle ground for partnership across borders. It is an enriching experience to know more about shaping the narratives and how can we contextualize it in our country. Engagement globally with strong and capable youth from across the world working together for a better youth-led world is one of the greatest things we could do for a peaceful world.