More than 5,000 people attended the “Peacemakers’ Celebration” of UNESCO HK Peace for All Youth Programme, co-organized by UNESCO Hong Kong Association (“UNESCO HK”) and UNESCO Arts in Education Observatory for Research in Local Cultures and Creativity in Education (“UNESCO RLCCE”), and sponsored by the Commission on Youth, Home Affairs Bureau, HKSAR, on 12 April 2014, Saturday at Hong Kong Science Park.
Officiating at the Inaugural Ceremony were Mrs Phumelele Gwala, Consul General, South African Consulate General and Professor Tao Xiping, Vice President of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs Centers and Associations and President of the Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations together with Guests-of-honour from participating Consulates and a long list of international and community organizations.
On behalf of the organizers, Dr Darwin Chen SBS, Vice President (Culture), UNESCO Hong Kong Association and Chairman of Organizing Committee, UNESCO HK Peace for All Youth Programme thanked all the contributors to the Programme at the ceremony.
To act for peace, Dr Chen mentioned that this year marks the centenary of the start of World War I. “Many believe humankind has been fortunate in avoiding yet another global conflict. But peace is more than the absence of war. Peace goes beyond political peace, encompassing individual peace, cultural peace, social peace and ecological peace as well,” said Dr Chen.
Dr Chen also quoted Eleanor Roosevelt’s saying “It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it.” He reminded us that peace is a choice to be made on each situation, an everyday-life decision. He encouraged participants to take actions that would make a difference to “Peace for All”.
The ceremony was followed by orchestra performance by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and Peace Street Arts Parade.
On the same day, a variety of programmes were also held at the Science Park. They include Social Peace: Care & Dare “A Bright New Horizon” Campaign Kick-off Ceremony, Peace Education Seminar, Peace Booth Exhibition, Installation Arts Exhibition, Cultural Performance, Culture Discovery Workshops, “Peace & Dream” Youth Essay Competition Board Display and Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Demonstration.
Peacemakers’ Celebration was the highlight of 2013-2014 Peace for All Youth Programme and aimed to strengthen local peace efforts through better understanding of cultural diversity and tolerance of cultural differences, and to encourage intercultural dialogue. Thousands of students and teachers from local and international schools, representatives from the international and community organizations showcased the outcome of their projects promoting peace and intercultural understanding on the Celebration Day.