Youth is the owner of peace
Country between Asia and Oceania, celebrated this special day slightly earlier than any other country on May 13th.
Although Timor-Leste officially became independent from Indonesia in 2002, peace still feels far from reality for Timorese who continuously struggled with conflicts big and small even after becoming independent. This year, the Timorese youth continue to shout “Dame” (meaning peace in Tetum) on behalf of peace that is yet to be completely established in their nation.
The annual Peace Walk commemorating the Declaration of World Peace took place for the third time this year in Timor-Leste. Over 200 people gathered for this event and walked a 3km route from the hall of HAK Association (Farol) in downtown Dili to the Secretary state of Youth and Sports. For the duration of the event, from 9am to 3pm, the need for the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War to be implemented as international law in order to achieve true peace and the urge for citizens to support and participate to achieve it was emphasized in addition to the Peace Walk commemorating the Declaration of World Peace.
Furthermore, the voices of the youth longing for peace sounded to the Timorese through various cultural performances such as creating peace messages with handprints and reciting songs and poems with messages of peace.
The performances the Timorese youth prepared with genuine hearts of peace particularly set apart this event from other Peace Walks commemorating the 4th anniversary of the Declaration of World Peace. The Timorese youth scripted and dramatized a play first-hand. This play, based on the history of Timor-Leste during the Indonesian occupation, artistically expressed the sacrifice of youth and children in war and left moral instructions to cease war. In addition, the heads of youth groups singing the words of the Declaration of World Peace as a song was unseen in previous events and was sufficient in moving the hearts of the Timorese.
At the event, Mr. Prezado, the President of the Radio Society who attended as a speaker, shared his ambition to improve the youth’s education on peace through this event and expressed his determination to host a peace event with the youth of West Timor. Mr. Arsenio, another speaker who was a participant of the 2nd Annual Commemoration of WARP Summit and is the Director of FONGTIL, emphasized that the youth are the victims of war and his presentation stating that achieving peace is the key to resolve all wars captivated the audience.
Mr. David Tomas De Deus, Youth Program director of the Secretary State of Youth and Sports, and Dr. Antero Benedito da Silva from the Institute of Peace and Conflicts Studies in UNTL, and various eminent representatives attended the event as guest speakers and graced the event with their presence. Director Ricardo Valente of TL-YFP shared that he realized through this passionate event that he is a peace messenger and that peace begins with him. Furthermore, he shared a message with the attendees that I myself must first put in effort for peace.
Mr. Reynato, who participated from the start of planning for this event, shared in his interview that this event was the greatest experience of his life and expressed his desire to continue to work together to spread world peace.
Four newspaper companies such as STL, Jornal Independent, Timor Post, and Dili Weakly covered this event and reported to all regions of Timor-Leste. Mr. Isac, Mr. Jonato, Mr. Reynato, Mr. Ezequiel, and Mr. Michael, the five event team organizers, expressed that they would like to hold the Peace Walk as an annual event to celebrate the announcement of the Declaration of World Peace. We look forward to another peace movement in Timor-Leste.