Click on the image below to read the Director-General’s speech

Image | Posted on by

Click the image to see the programme for the prizegiving ceremony

Posted in Uncategorized

Jordi, 13 ans

Selon toi, qui incarne l’action pour la paix et comment ? Inspire-toi d’une personnalité ou de quelqu’un de ton entourage

La paix, c’est une chose de vraiment recherchée,
Tout le monde la veut, veut la trouver,
Mais seulement le meilleur peut la trouver,
Après chercher pendant des années,
Pour la trouver, il faut vraiment s’y mettre,
Vraiment s’y mettre à son sujet.

Dans quelques pays elle est déjà existante,
Mais dans autres, il faut qu’elle vraiment apparaisse,
Il y a trop de guerres sur cette planète,
Et il est temps de les arrêter et de régler
d’autres problèmes.

Moi personnellement, je cherche la paix,
J’essaie de ne pas m’énerver ou de devoir me disputer,
Je veux suivre le chemin d’hommes comme Henry Dunant, Nelson Mandela et beaucoup d’autres personnes,
Mais il y a des gens qui gâchent tout,
Ils ne pensent que à eux-mêmes et à rien autour d’eux,
Et ces gens faut les il changer,
Il faut les inspirer à l’amour et à la paix.
Je pense qu’un jour on la trouvera, cette paix,
Mais avant de la trouver, il faudra du sacrifice,
Il faudra des très bonnes personnes,
Des personnes préparées à tout faire pour la trouver,
Comme monsieur Dag Hammarskjöld,
Lui, il a tout donné pour la trouver,
Dag, c’était vraiment un guerrier de la paix,
Et on le remercie de l’avoir fait :
Notre monde est meilleur grâce à son succès !

Posted in 11, 12, 13 year olds | Leave a comment

Karen, aged 13

“You have not done enough, you have never done enough, as long as there is still something to which you can contribute.”
-Dag Hammarskjöld

Now if I had a rainbow dream catcher,
Swaying in the wind by my open window,
I’d want it to scare away my nightmares.
Those which meander in my mind at night
And the ones I fear from turning real.

I’d want it to banish the vision I have quite often.
That on some very ordinary day,
The aid workers and all the people trying to help,
Would give up.
And leave us with our problems,
Because they think they’ve done enough,
Or because the news is getting old.

I know it sounds slightly selfish to say considering all that’s happening,
But I endeavor to become an astronaut one day,
I wish to fly to space
And explore.

Mum told me that it may not be too easy to accomplish,
Because those who make the decisions
Aren’t able to simply harmonize and cannot solve their problems.

She also told me that there are people trying to help us.
And I promised her,
That if I ever become an astronaut,
I will fly to space and bring a little bit of the moon for each one that helped us.

The problem is,
I don’t have a rainbow-coloured dream catcher.
I don’t have a window either.

And even if I did, I’d probably give it to someone else,
Because there are countless numbers of people without dream catchers,
And they have even worse nightmares, which they need to keep away.

Posted in 11, 12, 13 year olds | Leave a comment

Karina, aged 15

“ Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build a world without fear we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.” – Dag Hammarskjold

In our 21st century there is a lot of scientific and technological progress which helps us get a better life, however humanity cannot overcome a painful heritage of the past centuries, wars. Wars occur because of misunderstandings between individuals, groups or countries and because of wrong government policies. War is the continuation of politics but with other sources: which are either ran by governments, oligarch groups or religious leaders.

Simple things, like changes in aspects of religion, movements, forces, trends or policies can at once create a war. However these same factors but in different conditions and situations can create Peace, so everything really depends on how we set it.

Any kind of compromise out of which we can reach Peace, even if it is only a weak hope for Peace, is many times better than any kind of war. Wars cause : destruction, bombings, deaths of innocent people, refugees, hunger, illnesses, unsanitary conditions ; and overall horror. None of these are factors of Peace.

In theory, we could have already learned from our previous mistakes, since we have already seen the horrendous consequences. ‘we got burnt on the same fire more than once.’ People should be taught to be patient, tolerant, respectful towards other cultures and traditions and always try to help the weakest but without humiliating their dignity or degrading them.

“ Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us.”
is one of Dag Hammarskjold’s quotes. We should begin our internal work with our families, not only meaning parents and siblings but all our close friends and basically all the people that surround us. We should promote tolerance, respect and peacefulness.
We should help poor people get back on track, back on their feet because often, war, crises and other injustices put them into bad situations, out of which they cannot get out by themselves.

“ To build a world without fear, we must be without fear.”
We should not be afraid to speak out our opinions because maybe not worldwide, but they could make a change in our individual situations.

“ To build a world of justice, we must be just.”
Since not all of us are judges or take part in tribunals, we should still always make an attempt to be just on decisions of our everyday life. Our selfish acts and little lies concerning serious social and/or economical issues can create damage and harm other people.

As a worldwide famous writer, Tolstoy, said : “ Inside each soul there is war and Peace.” Therefore, everyone’s future lives depend on their soul, whether it is ruled by Peace or war. We are part of society and society influences our formation. So this world begins with our education and with the education of our future generations to stop future wars and make peace.

Posted in 15 year olds | Leave a comment

Katlo, aged 11

From your point of view, who embodies action for peace and how? Inspire yourself with a personality or someone from your entourage. 

I chose the question one because I found that that there were lots of people in my life and my community who embody peace to me and inspire me to spread peace as well.

What is peace?

Most people think it’s no war, but I think something different I think that peace is you and your family not quarrelling, it is you not felling stressed out about something and to me it’s also getting rid of or helping prevent sicknesses. And that’s my opinion others may have a different idea of what Peace is but for me to try and keep Peace at home for Peace always starts in the smallest places before it can go worldwide.

Who embodies Peace to me and why?

The person or the people that embody Peace to me are my teachers and my father. My teachers Miss Arnott, Mrs. Hughes, Mrs. Peeters-weem and all my other teachers embody peace to me. This is because they all care about us, their students and the try their best to keep peace within the school community. If there are any problems between friends, the teacher tries his/her best to stop the quarrelling and bring the friend back together. My father embodies peace to me because he works with the World Health Organization (W.H.O). World Health organization also works on peace. How, because first you have to think of what peace is. Peace is not just when there is no violence it is also helping people in need of it for example the blue soldiers or red cross help people in need in places like Haiti and East Africa. So my father embodies peace to me because he helps those people who help with the health of the world. And that is one of the things that are involved peace. My father also embodies peace to me at home because my mum is in china, my father needs to do the cooking and the cleaning making sure that we are okay and making sure his world is at peace and so far it is.

These are the people who embody peace to me the people I look up to and sure there are many people out there that I might meet some day and they will embody peace to me but for now it is my teachers and my father that embody peace to me.

Posted in 11, 12, 13 year olds | Leave a comment

Komal, aged 16

“Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just.” – Dag Hammarskjöld.

This quote comes from a time when the UN had to try to keep peace in a world threatened by the Cold War. By 1949, what were the dangers to peace? The relationship between USA and USSR which developed after the World War Two is known as the Cold War. The “friendship” between USA and USSR only existed as they both had a common enemy which was Germany. It was understood that by 1946 the wartime friendship between the allies had fallen apart due to suspicion and they saw each other as profound enemies.

President Truman of USA and Stalin of USSR both distrusted each other. USSR had a vast army which was known as the Red Army whereas US had the most powerful weapons. Stalin’s troops controlled the Baltic States, Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania and had created fear among other countries for a Communist take over. Stalin now tightened his control in each country where he had established a communist government. In his communist government, he only hired people who were loyal to him and replaced those who were independent mined. The western powers had agreed that the Eastern Europe would be a Soviet “sphere of influence” but had never imagined such great Communism domination. All Eastern European countries were controlled by Communist governments by 1948 apart from Greece and Czechoslovakia. Other countries, for example, France and Italy felt vulnerable to Communist take over. Truman had now understood that the Eastern Europe was now communist and now his objective was to stop any further expansion of communism. USA was willing to provide equipment, advice and money to any country which was threatened by communism. This was known as the Truman doctrine and this policy was names as containment. To stop communism, Truman sent out George Marshall to observe the world economy as he thought that communism only accomplished in its aim when a country was facing problems and needed help. With Marshall’s suggestion 17 billion dollars were made available over a period of four years. It is understood that Stalin was trying to spread communism and cripple Germany but it could also be argued that USA was trying to dominate over other countries so they could get dependent on dollars.

The Western allies and the Soviet Union had completely different opinion about what to do with Germany. Stalin wanted to crush Germany whereas the Western allies thought that Germany would never be able to feed its population. In 1946, USA, France and Britain merged their zones to form one zone which was known as West Germany. In June 1948, Stalin instituted a blockade which halted the arrival of food, materials and supplies in West Berlin. Stalin had predicted that plan would make the Western Allies leave West Berlin so that Berlin would become only dependent on USSR. His plan failed when Truman decided to air lift supplies and the population of West Berlin was supplied with required material. In 1949, Stalin realized that the blockade was no help in making the Western Allies give up Berlin, therefore he reopened the communications.
The tension of the Cold War in Europe had suddenly moved to East Asia. In October 1949, the People’s Liberation Army under the leader Mao Zedong was declared in China. It was a shock for USA that there was now a massive communist state. The USA was now imagining how the Communists would rule over Asia and their communist states in Europe. Now the combined size of Soviet Union and China threatened the US twice as much as before.

Japan had ruled over Korea until 195. As a result of the Second World War the northern half of Korea belonged to the Soviet Union and the southern half was owned by the US. The northern part of Korea was under Communist control and was ruled under Soviet style one party system. The southern part of Korea was not democratic and was anti-Communist. The North Communist leader and the president of South Korea had a bitter relationship. The reunification of North and South Korea seemed near to impossible. A war in future seemed inevitable.

The above analysis indicates that there were quite a lot of factors which could disrupt the peace in future. The expansion of communism was a threat to the other nations. The tension created between US and the Soviet Union during the cold war could easily start World War 3. The difference in opinion between the Communists and the Anti-Communists was a growing problem. In my opinion, by 1949 there were 3 scenario’s which could happen. The first scenario could be that US and the Soviet Union make a sensible negotiation between each other which would end the cold war and would be better for everyone. This is the best case scenario but is the least likely. The second scenario could be that the US and the Soviet Union end up having a war. This would mean that the cold war would lead to a nuclear war between the Western States and the Communist States. The third most likely scenario is that the cold war between the two states continues. This would mean no nuclear war but the cold war could continue for a long period of time. In all 3 scenario’s, the global peace seems to be in perpetual danger.

Posted in 16 year olds | Leave a comment