Luke, aged 12

“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

A fight for Peace

When I was a boy I lived in Pakistan, there was much conflict between the government and the civilians over democracy. My dad was a part of this civil war against the government. At the time I was only seven and I didn’t understand what was going on. When I was nine my dad was shot by one of the soldiers, then about a month after that some soldiers from the UN came to try and help with the situation. There would be the occasional gun fire and sometimes a person would get in the way and be shot, sometimes they would drop a bomb which would kill both the enemy and the civilian’s. One blew my best friends leg off, but a least it didn’t kill him. Sometimes I would think to myself “is this right?”, and then I would think what I could do to stop all this conflict. Sometimes I would think about this for hours other times I would go and play with my friends, but one day I thought what if somebody just try to reason with the government, talk some sense, then it would all be over and there wouldn’t have to be anymore conflict, people would stop dying unnecessarily.

When I was sixteen I started to form a group of people who wanted to stop all this conflict. So we tried to plan a speech to change what the government thought about us and ask why they are killing us. We knew that this would take a lot of planning and thought and we knew it had to be perfect, and then we thought about how and who would present it and it was decided it would be me. By then we had been thinking about it for two years and it was all coming together we just had to figure out how to get in to the government building. This took a long time. At first we tried to reason with the guards unfortunately they threatened to shoot us so we had to think again, this time we sent a letter but they rejected, then we had an idea what if we sent the speech on a letter so we did, and then we were called in to speak.

At this point I am twenty and finally the plan has all come together and we are in the government building, all knowing that we have just one shot. When we walked in there was a man in a chair, he was the president, and we were asked to sit down so we went to sit down. When we sat down there was a lot of tension in the air, then he asked us what we wanted, there was silence for a moment, then I said “we don’t like the conflict, too many innocent people are dying”, then once again there was silence. Then he said “well are you willing to reason with me?”, instantly I said “yes”, so we started discussing the terms and he asked us what we wanted. We said “we just want our say in things”. Then he said “If I accept this you this you will stop killing my men?” And we agreed. So soon enough the fighting stopped. This experience of helping people solve their problems motivated me to start a career into helping other countries solve problems without violence, and help to create world peace.

When I was twenty five I was just starting to work at the UN, and I was well known for stopping the civil war in Pakistan, and right now I am about to fly Korea to help stop the civil war about the farming between the north and the south Korea because the people from north Korea want to take their cows down to south Korea. I knew it would be a long and bumpy flight so I brought a book to read to pass the time, when we got into the air I started to read, but it was hard to read with all the noise. Knowing I could not create peace in the cabin I tried my best to ignore the noise but the turbulence was making it harder to read so I started to talk to the person next to me to pass the time. By the time we landed I was very tired so I went to my hotel room and had a nap, but I knew I could not sleep for too long because I had a very important meeting to attend to.

By the time I woke up I had only had two and a half hours sleep but I still was not as tired as before. So I made my way to the meeting. When I got there I was greeted with kindness. When we were walking through I was very intrigued by all the beautiful paintings and patterns. When we got to the meeting there was the governor of North Korea and the governor of South Korea. I was about five minutes late and they had already started to talk. When I sat down I was offered a drink, so I asked for water, trying not to be too much of a bother. We started discussing about what we could do to stop the conflict, in the end I said that if the two countries become one big country there would not be conflict about farming meaning anyone can farm anywhere, this took a while to take action but in the end it worked out fine, this was my fourth accomplishment and I remember how good it felt.

Now to present date I am thirty two and I still remember the speech/letter I sent that started everything in my life and many other people’s lives. It was what has helped me through the years and when I am about to go into a meeting I think it to myself.

“This war you have created is doing no good for anyone; all you are doing is killing innocent people who just want peace and democracy to create a better life for themselves and generations to come. And if you can’t understand what I am saying then you are killing your own men and the innocent.”


About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
This entry was posted in 11, 12, 13 year old winners, 11, 12, 13 year olds. Bookmark the permalink.

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