Participants at Emerging Peacemakers Forum send message of hope to COP28

Participants at Emerging Peacemakers Forum send message of hope to COP28

GENEVA, 9th July, 2023 (WAM) -- 50 young people from 24 countries have sent a message of hope to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which will be hosted by the UAE later this year. The message was delivered during a special ceremony as part of the second edition of the Emerging Peacemakers Forum, held in Geneva, Switzerland.

Participants in the forum, which is organised in partnership between the Muslim Council of Elders, the World Council of Churches, and the Rose Castle Foundation, planted an olive tree, symbolising the importance of youth making positive contributions in addressing contemporary global challenges and building peace.

Hailing from Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, forum participants expressed their appreciation and support for the efforts undertaken by the United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in tackling the negative impacts of climate change. They also expressed their hope for the COP28 conference to yield results that contribute to mitigating this global humanitarian threat.

Likewise, they emphasised that planting the olive tree is an invitation to foster environmental peace and protect life on this planet. They stressed the need for open discussions between youth, civil society leaders, and religious leaders and for the visions, experiences, initiatives, and proposals of young people to be heard and considered.

The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam stated that he is pleased with the positive spirit demonstrated by the participants in the second edition of the Emerging Peacemakers Forum. He also said that he looks forward to their active role in addressing environmental and societal challenges, highlighting the importance of raising awareness about environmental peace issues and promoting collective action to tackle global challenges for a better future for humanity.

Judge Abdelsalam further explained that the world is eagerly anticipating COP28, which will be held by the UAE and the significant outcomes that can be achieved in countering the negative effects of climate change. He praised the efforts of the UAE in promoting environmental security and finding effective solutions to the issue of climate change.

For his part, the Secretary-General of the World Council of Churches, Prof. Jerry Pillay, commented, "The olive tree is usually associated with peace. It is appropriate to plant such a tree at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey to commemorate this special and unique gathering of emerging peacemakers. Especially noticed is that the gathering consists of different religions. What a great witness this is to the world when we all show our commitment to the common task of working together for peace in a world suffering with violence, factions, conflicts, and war."

The second edition of the Emerging Peacemakers Forum, aimed at equipping a generation of young people capable of making positive contributions in their communities and building a better future for themselves and humanity, commenced in Geneva on Thursday.