Italy trials a new approach to building peace- the youth driven civil peace corps
I think the world is too much militarised and the younger generation doesn’t have a voice in peace processes. The Italian program Civil Peace Corps is now moving in a new direction, encouraging young people to be active in peace processes in Italy and abroad.
Civil Peace Corps is an Italian experimental and avant-garde program that is an initiative promoted by the Italian Government and the Department for Youth Policies and Universal Civil Service which aims to impartially promote solidarity and cooperation, nationally and internationally, with particular regard to protection of social rights, personal services and education for peace among peoples.
This approach is a completely new experimental model in the European panorama that aims to find alternative solutions to the use of military force for conflict resolution, involving girls and boys between 18 and 28 years in non-violent actions in support of communities that are in situations of crisis. Civil Peace Corps act in places of conflict, post-conflict or at risk of conflict.
Specifically, as an Italian Civil Peace Corp representative I am based in Belgrade since the beginning of November 2019. The one-year project I am working in deals with environmental protection between two countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The objectives of our project are the following:
- Strengthen the Drina River Committee, which is currently an informal committee for cross-border municipal environmental cooperation. Our goal is to make the informal committee operational and institutionalised;
- Improve sustainable environmental planning and the promotion of biodiversity with the expected result of having greater effectiveness of public services and practices in relation to solid waste and wastewater management;
- Develop the capacity of local authorities in applying national environmental legislation of their responsibility to have greater protection of the Drina and Sava river basins and the promotion of their biodiversity;
- To raise awareness among citizens and women in the Drina river basin to make citizens and especially women more aware of their role and development opportunities related to the environment and biodiversity of the region.
I’m really thankful to everyone that is going to read this article and I wish that many more young people will have the possibility to be involved in peace building processes around the world as there is a huge need of young voices not only to be heard but to be active part as decision makers in peace building processes.
President and Co-Founder – Sustainable Cooperation for Peace & Security Human rights activist with extensive advocacy work for the Euro-Med region and the Balkans. Women and young people are the core of the Sustainable Development Goals