Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani human rights advocate and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
High school students in Maine demand gun control, “The Second Amendment Must be Amended.”
Students from four schools in Chicago hold an anti-violence march and rally.
A protest is held in Mexico City on behalf of 43 missing college students.
We young people want a peaceful, secure future — one in which our lives are not at risk because of nuclear, biological, or chemical warfare — not at risk because of any kind of violent assault. Of course we want that also for those older than we are, and those who will follow in our footsteps. That means that we must shape a world in which violence is not considered — by nations, communities, or solitary individuals — as a way to solve human problems.
The Youth Peace Pledge
I pledge to:
- Encourage peace in all its forms, acknowledge and welcome differences among people, and always seek non-violent solutions when conflict arises.
- Treat all people with respect and protect their dignity and safety, regardless of their ethnicity, age, economic and social status, sexual orientation, abilities, ideology, religious belief, and place of origin.
- Challenge hatred in all of its forms, ranging from malevolent speech and racial prejudice to gun violence and war.
- Support peace candidates for political office and advocate for peace-making public policy at every level – community, state, nation, and world.
Notes on the Youth Peace Pledge
We live in a violent society. More than 16,000 Americans are murdered annually. On average, seven teenagers are killed by guns every day. And domestic violence is mirrored in a violent foreign policy. The wars conducted by the United States in the 21st century have not led to justice or peace, but have instead caused untold suffering and destruction. Diplomacy, not war, is the most promising path to resolving international conflict. In countering terrorism too, non-violent approaches are likely to prove more effective than violent ones.
We want to build human relationships of compromise, cooperation, and collaboration that turn the world in the direction of peace. And while we are advocating for a peaceful world in the future, we aim to live peacefully today, in our daily relationships with others.
We envision a world in which all people are supported to develop their skills and passions, to flourish in their own lives and serve the needs of their families, communities, the nation, and the planet. In the world that we dare to imagine, there will be no militarism or war.
It is mostly young people who fight wars and are injured or lose their lives doing so, and war veterans do not receive the support they need. Among civilians, too, youth suffer the consequences of armed conflict, which results in families having to flee their homeland and wrecks the prospects of youth for education and right livelihood.
With our energy and creativity, we young people have an essential role to play as peace builders and peace keepers. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” said Martin Luther King. “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” With this mission in mind, we pledge to live and work for peace.