Since its founding in 2014, the Youth Peace Initiative (YPI) has brought Palestinian and Israeli youth together with the goal to advance positive engagement of youth to the peace process within the region. Starting out with a group of fifteen participants in The Hague, the initiative has grown to a large group with more enthusiastic and active delegates and many more affiliated young people around the world, discussing the current situation and developing ideas for a sustainable solution.

Approximately 12 million people live in Israel and the Palestinian Territories – half of whom are younger than 25. Over the course of the past years and under the leadership of former US Secretary of State John Kerry, the European Union (French Initiative), and the United Nations (Peace Quartet), the leaders Abbas, Peres, and Netanyahu negotiated to reach a peace agreement acceptable to all parties in the region. In spite of incessant shuttle diplomacy and strong commitment, the negotiation efforts were unsuccessful and societies are growing apart more and more.

The current generation of young adults has the highest respect for the efforts of their leaders and the international community. This generation is of utmost importance in implementing a possible agreement, if any would be reached in the near future. However, currently they are facing a future in which they will have to live in the absence of any agreement. The absence of official negotiations and the consequential loss of hope for a solution create for many a reason to take (violent) initiatives themselves. The lack of development, hope and inclusivity should be counterbalanced by a positive initiative. The Youth Peace Initiative strongly believes that it is time for a new, young and positive voice to emerge and contribute to a peaceful future.

In February, YPI will organize a new conference. During this conference, eighteen young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 – five Palestinians, five Israelis, and 8 from (post)conflict countries, such as Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Colombia – will meet in the Netherlands to get to know the country and each other. What happens after the initial days is crucial: towards the end of the week, the group will work on their own blueprint with action points to make reconciliation viable to pave the road to sustainable peace and have the important voices of youth heard in the Middle East Peace Process.

YPI truly believes that the partaking of youth from other (post)conflict countries is of utmost importance for the success of the conference. In addition to providing their knowledge and experience living in a (post)conflict society, their presence can also create different group dynamics within this intense setting of the conference.

YPI covers the costs of transport (including the travel to and from the Netherlands), participation and accommodation during the week of the conference.

Call​ ​for​ ​applications
YPI seeks for participants who are passionate about conflict resolution, peace building and engaging youth in peacebuilding efforts. Applicants should be between the ages of 18 and 30, have a proficient level of English and some knowledge about the history and the background of the Middle East Peace Process. Applications, which should include a motivation letter and curriculum vitae, will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The last deadline for submission will be January 1, 2018.



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