The Indonesian Youth’s Walk for Peace
Indonesia, located in Southeast Asia, is an Islamic country and is the world’s largest island nation. The country’s slogan is “Unity in Diversity” (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika) and its founding idea is called “Pancasila,” with “panca” meaning five and “sila” meaning principle. The five principles are: 1. A Divinity that is an ultimate unity. 2. A just and civilized humanity. 3. The national unity of Indonesia. 4. Democracy predicated on the inherent wisdom of unanimity arising from deliberation among popular representatives. 5. Social justice for all Indonesian people. These principles take part in unifying Indonesia, a nation of multicultural society and various religions. Just like its founding idea, Indonesia is a nation of harmony, flexibility, and tolerance and pursues peace through religious tolerance and harmony. Living up to its national belief and mood, Indonesia has been one of the countries actively participating in the peace movement of HWPL and the IPYG
Peace Advocate of Indonesia
Among the several peace advocates who are doing the work of peace with HWPL and the IPYG in Indonesia are Prof. Said Aqill Siroj, a religious leader and the General Chairman of Central Board of Nahdlatul Ulama(PBNU), the world’s biggest Muslim organization, Ms. Yenny Wahid, Chairwoman of Wahid Institute, and Dr. Hj. Elza Syarief, SH, MH, Chairwoman of Himpunan Advokat Pengacara Indonesia. These advocates have participated in the 2nd Annual Commemoration of September 18th WARP Summit.
Ahmad Syamsuddin, the Vice President of Central Board of Master’s Association of Nahdlatul Ulama, a youth division of PBNU, also has been working with the IPYG for the last 4 years, and Fitri Noviana, Program Director of ECPAT Indonesia, one of the branches of ECPAT, registered under ECOSOC, began actively working with the IPYG since co-hosting the Peace Walk in 2015. Along with the two youth representatives mentioned above, Hari Purwantouth, Dewirini Anggraeni, Rizki Putra Dewantoro, Abdurrahman, and Muhhamad Alfiansyah, are working as the HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee in Indonesia. Furthermore, Islamic State University(UIN), a public university with campuses located throughout regions of Indonesia including Jakarta, Medan, and Makassar, have been hosting several peace projects like peace educational seminars in various regions of Indonesia.
Youth’s Peace Activity: HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee and the IPYG College members (IPYG supporters)
Many groups of people are doing the work of peace, but even among them, the IPYG supporters, International Law Peace Advocacy Committee, and the organizations joined with the IPYG are working actively together in particular.
The main reason why college students in Indonesia are able to work as peace advocates is because of the HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee gathered in Jakarta. For the students in Indonesia to voluntarily participate in the IPYG’s peace movement, the committee gathered 20 students in different provinces to introduce the IPYG, and personally taught the mindset of peace and proceed with ‘TOV (Training of Volunteer)’. The committee is the pioneer of spreading the culture of peace in Indonesia.
The peace work of the IPYG Supporters started at the Peace Seminar, hosted by the IPYG. The students who participated in the seminar made the determination to continue the work of peace with the IPYG, and thus publicized the IPYG to their peers. The supporters participated in this peace work on campus by publicizing the HWPL’s DPCW and receiving signatures of support for the Peace Campaign. They also held debates with the topic of peace, and actively participated in The 4th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace.
Moh Zainulah and Ruslan, active IPYG Supporters, said, “I have never worked for peace with an international peace organization such as the IPYG or HWPL however, as a person who loves peace, I am experiencing many things as I work together with IPYG for world peace. Especially transcending religion, race, ideology and etc., and working together for peace culture, harmony and promoting mutual understanding is impressive. That is why from now on through the supporters, we will work to notify all of the youths in Indonesia about the IPYG and furthermore spread peace through peace seminars, peace campaigns, and other various peace activities.” They have raised expectations of the IPYG Supporters’ future work of peace by saying, “We will organize the IPYG Supporters more systematically and proceed with campaigns and debates so that more youths can work with the IPYG for peace.”
The 4th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace
Since 2015, Indonesia continued to host the Peace Walk which is the biggest event promoting peace mindset of the Declaration of World Peace. This year was no exception for Indonesia as it participated in the 4th Annual Commemoration of the Declaration of World Peace. The event’s theme for this year is to reject violent extremism. This event was held to show the high ranking figures that the youths and citizens desire peace. On May 14th 2017, a total of three districts hosted this event simultaneously.
In the capital city of Jakarta along with 600 participants, Dr. Hj. Elza Syarief, SH, MH and Dr. Hari Purwanto, Former president of College of National Intelligence under Indonesia’s Ministry of Justice also attended. The youth in this district worked with the ‘New Indonesia (Network for Education Watch Indonesia)’ organization to prevent school violence and for the harmony among the 6 religions in Indonesia. Dr. Hari Purwanto said, “I was extremely glad to see many people who yearn for peace participating in the peace walk. Also, to change the perception of peace, I will find diverse methods to build peace and I will put in my greatest effort to improve the society’s perspective of peace.”
The Peace Walk was taken place in Malang, known as the city of education, by the IPYG Supporters. About 600 people attended and a harmonized performance of the different religions within Indonesia took place. 13) Dewi Indra Bulqis, a student of State Islamic University Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang, attended and stated, “After attending this event I realized that it is urgent to spread peace to many people. Although a small number of people led this peace walk, through this event I was able to truly contribute to the work of peace which I have been desiring. I am filled with joy to have been able to be a part of this event.”
At the third largest city of Medan, the Peace Walk was led by the University of Sumatera Utara (USU). About 250 students participated and 14) Dr. phil. Zainul Fuad,MA., the Director of Center for Peace Studies in the UIN North Sumatra of Medan Indonesia, who is continually working with IPYG, gave a congratulatory message. After the event, he mentioned, “My perspective towards peace has changed greatly. I will actively invite my colleagues and students to peace programs hosted by HWPL, IPYG, and organizations that are national and international.”
The IPYG affiliated groups, the IPYG supporters and the HWPL Peace Advocacy Committee are planning to expand the movement of peace so the youths can exercise their stand for peace and the voices of the youths and citizens can be heard. Furthermore, it is currently being discussed with the distinguished guests of inviting the Indonesian government to take part in the peace walk next year.
Currently the peace movement is limited to only the major cities but efforts are being made to enlarge and advance the movement to all of Indonesia. The IPYG is looking forward to bring harmony and respect among race, nations, and religions just as the Indonesian national ideology states.