Looking for a New Year’s Resolution with Some Real Heft? How About… Peace?

Friday, December 28, 2012

It’s not as far-fetched an idea as you might think. USIP’s Global Peacebuilding Center, the Institute’s program to fulfill its congressional mandate for public education here at home, is inviting young people to make one commitment for the New Year to get involved in the pursuit of peace. The Center’s website even offers a dozen suggestions of practical steps to take, like researching famous peacebuilders or staying on top of world news or exploring careers in the field.

The effort is called “I RESOLVE … to build peace in 2013,” and the website provides tons of great links to other resources such as the World Affairs Council and the Peace Corps.

“We’re encouraging young people to make a New Year’s resolution about being a peacebuilder, to share it with us via a photo and then to send us later the story of how they fulfilled their commitment,” said Ann-Louise Colgan, the Center’s director.

The idea is to encourage the next generation that it’s possible for individuals to contribute to peace and conflict resolution and why it matters. The Global Peacebuilding Center’s website has interesting tips and resources for young people and for educators, such as a video that explains a term we hear more and more often these days, the “rule of law.” The program also runs an onsite education center in Washington D.C. that offers regular workshops for student groups.

Do you think the next generation is more or less interested in peacebuilding than their predecessors? How so and why? Let us know here. And share your resolution for building peace in 2013 through the Global Peacebuilding Center.

Viola Gienger is a senior writer for USIP.