Time to Abolish War: a Youth Agenda for Peace & Justice


Produced for the Hague Appeal for Peace, compiled by Jo Tyler and Adam Berry with the support of the European Youth Foundation.

Introduction from the Book

Time to Abolish War - Youth Manual created by Youth for Youth
Time to Abolish War – Youth Manual created by Youth for Youth

The world is emerging from the bloodiest, most war-ridden century in history. Just the last decade has seen genocides committed in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, Chechnya, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction capable of ending life on earth.

Indigenous peoples are still denied the right to self-determination. Governments continue to fail to prevent conflict, protect civilians, eradicate colonialism, and guarantee human rights.

It’s high time, in the words of the UN Charter, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Maybe our generation can succeed where others have failed! Let’s build a culture of peace in the 21st Century.

In this youth agenda, we will look at achieving this aim through peace campaigns on issues including landmines, small arms, peace education, promoting children’s rights, stopping the use of child soldiers, abolishing nuclear weapons, and building an International Criminal Court. These are problems that affect the lives and futures of young people, and we can play a part in all these efforts to find solutions, alongside others working in the fields of human rights, the environment, humanitarian assistance, disarmament, and sustainable development.

The campaigns demonstrate what can be done when people are listened to instead of “talked at.” We must take the initiative, thinking of security not in terms of state borders and weapons, but of human life. It is too serious a matter to be left to politicians and soldiers (nearly all men)!

Helping to bring peace and understanding to the places where we live is true “humanitarian intervention”. – bullying by the rich and powerful is not. The abolition of war is a long-term goal, so we should get started right away! We hope this agenda will give you some ideas and help to inspire your own…

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