Italy signs the Appeal of “Leaders for Peace”

After the warm endorsement from the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and the strong support offered by Pope Francis, who extended his invitation to heads of State to sustain the campaign, Italy is the first Country to sign the Appeal launched by Rondine Cittadella della Pace to the 193 UN Member States on the 10th of December, 2018.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has pledged to subtract a symbolic amount from the Defence budget to be invested in a bursary to train new peace leaders.

Italy’s support to this campaign represents the most concrete way for Rondine to open the dialogue with the international community: in the next three years Rondine will meet the leaders of all the States that could welcome the Appeal, open the dialogue even in the most hostile contexts and position itself as a trustworthy party in long-term peace processes.

The second phase of “Leaders for Peace” begins: this campaign is the realisation of twenty years commitment in responding to armed conflicts by training young peace leaders, who may guide global processes towards the end of wars on the planet.

L’Italia firma l’Appello di “Leaders for Peace”

Dopo l’appoggio morale espresso dal Presidente della Repubblica Sergio Mattarella e il forte sostegno di Papa Francesco, che aveva invitato tutti i capi di Stato a sottoscrivere la campagna, è proprio l’Italia il primo Paese a firmare l’Appello che Rondine ha presentato ai 193 Stati membri delle Nazioni Unite il 10 dicembre 2018.

Il Presidente del Consiglio Giuseppe Conte ha sottoscritto un impegno morale a destinare una cifra simbolica, spostata dal bilancio della Difesa, per investirla in una borsa di studio per la formazione di nuovi leader di pace.

Il riconoscimento di questa campagna da parte dell’Italia offre a Rondine la chiave più concreta per aprire il dialogo con la comunità internazionale: nei prossimi tre anni ci poniamo l’obiettivo di incontrare i capi di tutti gli Stati che possono accogliere il nostro Appello, aprire il dialogo anche nei contesti più ostili e proporci come soggetto accreditato per intervenire nei processi di pacificazione in una prospettiva a lungo termine.

È iniziata la seconda fase di “Leaders for Peace”, una campagna che rappresenta la concretizzazione di venti anni di impegno per fornire una risposta ai conflitti armati: la formazione di giovani leader di pace, che siano in grado di governare i processi globali ed estinguere la guerra dal pianeta.


YouTopic Fest is the festival of conflict: an annual event in which the communities of Rondine and all the individuals spreading the culture of peace and transformation of conflict meet and discuss inside the framework of the Citadel of Peace.

It is a network event open both to individuals and national and international profit and non-profit enterprises, which is organized in conferences, testimonials, and labs.

The objective is pinpointing and sharing tools and good practices to build a sustainable and universally efficient model to promote peace, integration, trust, and development all around the world.


Rondine aims to promote change and have a positive impact also though entrepreneurial initiatives. The world needs new managers able to lead their businesses according to a logic of sustainable development on social, cultural, and environmental levels. Such an objective must be necessarily combined with the ability to manage complex dynamics, both inside the organization and outside due to local situations of conflict.

Educating the new generations in acquiring the necessary skills to develop their own social or business projects, so that at the end of their training they can have a positive and concrete impact back home, even with business projects, is among Rondine’s central objectives.

The results of these actions are presented in Milan, the main hub for Italian businesses, during the event “Making peace is an enterprise”. The event allows for the meeting and confrontation among the most important national and international entrepreneurs and the young people from Rondine, supported by the association Imprenditori per la pace (Entrepreneurs for peace), which is made up of leading Italian entrepreneurs who choose to accompany Rondine on its way and support its young leaders in launching their projects that have social impact.


The witness-show “Dissonanze in Accordo” came back on stage overseas. On December the 14th the University of St. Michael’s College hosted personal stories of pain, but also hope, counted by youngsters who came from conflict contexts all around the world and lived the experience of the Citadel of Peace. A real live narration, with the musical accompaniment of Oida – Orchestra Instabile of Arezzo and of the musicians of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

With the orchestra, playing a musical repertoire linked to the historic events of the last century, the young witnesses explained how an enemy can be transformed into a human just like them.

The event was  introduced by the welcome speech of David Sylvester, President and Vice-Chancellor University of St. Michael’s College and by the introduction of Allyson Larkin, Associate Professor Social Justice and Peace Studies at King’s University College.


“It is wonderful for me to host this meeting and this important debate. As a diplomat, I know peace is not just lay down arms or signing a peace treaty, it is something to be offered every day. Rondine may offer great opportunities: you, as young men and women, give us hope and a daily proof that it is possible to work to build peace, that the engagement of everyone, including the civil society, is necessary in all its forms. For one day, this swallow  -Rondine- stops on our embassy: now it flies away around the world. Please, consider this Embassy as home: we will do anything to support you”

This was the speech of Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio on the occasion of the First international discussion on the Rondine Method. After the launch of the Leaders for Peace campaign at the United Nations in New York and the presentation of the show Dissonanze in Accordo with OIDA -Orchestra Instabile di Arezzo, to the presence of Italian General Counsellor Francesco Genuardi, the mission of the Tuscan association in the USA, engaged in reducing armed conflicts, is in Washington with an international conference aiming to achieve a first critical evaluation of the Rondine Method; it has been already applied on over 200 youngsters coming from conflict areas all around the world. The summit has been hosted on December the 13th, by the Italian Embassy in Washington.

A one-of-a-kind event, with the participation of about fifteen of the most important experts and academics from the main universities all around the world, gathering to give their own contribution to the Rondine Method for the creative transformation of conflicts; the objective is transforming it in a tool for the global society.

“Rondine is a laboratory; within the global society, it is an outskirt  located in the centre, meaning to be ever more at the core of your studies” underlined Franco Vaccari, the president of Rondine “Should it have an added value, we may give it together, in order to deliver and spread it all around the world. We are preparing a study office, in order to turn Rondine into a place for the global research-action to improve the experience with the strength of the interdisciplinary academic research”.

“The Rondine Method implies a more sophisticated and complex approach in comparison with the common conflict resolution programs” stated Gerard F. Powers, one of the greatest experts of peace studies from the Kroc Institute at the University of Notre Dame. He foresees a long term, able to trigger the healing of wounds. Rondine is also innovative in the spiritual and religious dimension. Concerning the issue of the return to the homelands in order to work on conflicts, the Rondine innovation is the support in this unique process”.

Ricardo de Guimaraes Pinto from UNESCO attended the event: he expressed his support to Rondine and declared “The educative program UNESCO aims to lead focuses on educating youngsters in order to provide a critical way of thinking allowing them to overcome the propaganda and become world citizens. 70 years after World War II, there is still so much to do. It is important to work together: civil society and organisations like Rondine are fundamental”.

The summit has been opened by Mons. Giorgio Biguzzi, honorary bishop of Makeni. He had a fundamental role in the ratification of the deal that ended the war in Sierra Leone in 2002. Greeting Cardinal GualtieroBassetti, president of the Episcopal conference of Italy, Biguzzi reminded of the Rondinid’Oro work in Sierra Leone; they are the former students of our association, working to prevent violence and safeguard human rights in the first project directly applying the Rondine Method in a belligerent country, “Initiative for Peaceful and Democratic Elections in Sierra Leone”. “We need to inspire our youths” affirmed Mons. Biguzzi, quoting Don Primo Mazzolai, said: “Spring comes with the first blossoms, love with the first hug and swallows flies because one of them opens the wings first. Our youths are the first hug, the first kiss, the first flight of the swallows”.

After the publication of “Dentro il conflitto, oltre il nemico. The Rondine Method”, edited by Luca Alici and published by “Il Mulino”, collecting the results of the first scientific research on the twenty-year work of the association, made by a research team from the Catholic University of Milan and the University of Padova, the study started to include other disciplines, such as philosophy, cultural anthropology, social philosophy and conflict resolution. Furthermore, thanks to the collaboration of the George Mason University of Washington, Daniel Rothbart, professor of Conflict analysis and resolution, already started  a new research.

Among the speakers, there were Andrea Bartoli, rector of the Diplomacy School at the Seton Hall University; Jack Nusan Porte from Harvard; Miguel Diaz, former ambassador and professor at the Loyola University; Michael David Kaiser from the Lutheran College of Washington; Adam Muller from the Univerity of Manitoba; Audrey Cox from the United States Instutute of Peace USIP; Charles Hauss from the Alliance for Peacebuilding AFP.


«We could not imagine a better way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights than bringing Rondine, its experiment and its youth to the Ecosoc hall at the United Nations, where the main topic is developing.»

This speech from the Italian Ambassador and Representative at the United Nations, Mariangela Zappia, opened the event “Leaders for Peace. Rondine youth appeal for human rights”, that made Rondine Cittadella della Pace the protagonist of the United Nations Headquarter in New York.

«Not only does Rondine offer an example, it also gives a Method that, in my opinion, the United Nations should accurately consider. Italy supports examples like Rondine, brought by civil society and addressed to young generations: we believe this method keeps the flag of human rights high and allows this Declaration, that has been living for seventy years, to be still alive and to create what it has been conceived for: building, through the dialogue and by overcoming differences and discriminations, a future of peace.»

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, the Permanent Italian delegation proposed that the association brings to the United Nations its twenty-years long experience in peace education for youngsters coming from countries at war, through the Rondine Method for the creative transformation of conflicts.

Rondine answered the call by launching its global campaign “Leaders for Peace”, declaring its engagement in educating new global peace leaders, able to lead the society toward the gradual extinction of conflicts and toward new relationships based on the respect of human rights.

«A great vision may come out of a little experience. By leaving behind the poison of hostility through efforts and passion, these youngsters recognised one another as human beings, holders of inalienable rights and a common duty was born: changing the world together, bringing peace. A concrete and uncommon application of human rights allows them to live today what you, illustrious Ambassadors, dedicate your lives and your high professional and civil responsibilities to, especially in this unique place» underlined Franco Vaccari, the President of Rondine.

Noam and Chris – a young Israeli and a young Palestinian – read the Appeal on the prestigious stage of the United Nations: two youngsters belonging to two populations in conflict, one another’s enemies, part of the one and half million of youth divided by walls and fences and involved in several ways in conflicts and armed clashes all around the world. Through their voices, the 193 Member States and the international community have been asked to invest a symbolic amount, equal to the cost of a weapon, in scholarships for young peace leaders and to include the human rights education into the national school systems. The Appeal has been presented to the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and it already received the support of Pope Francis I; it is also reinforced by a delegation of those peace leaders who already studied in Rondine: Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Serbs and Kosovan, and many others from more than 25 different populations, representing the 200 former students of the association, united in the Rondine International Peace Lab organisation.

Among other speakers, Ben Majekodunmi from the Office of High Commissioners for Human Rights in New York (OHCHR) and Marie Paul Roudli, director of New York Office of UNESCO who, mentioning Stefania Giannini – Assistant Director General for Education of UNESCO – and giving her regards,  declared: “ You are the source of innovation of ideas and solid solutions, as well as our hope for a better future for humanity. We would like to meet you at next ESDG 4 (Education for Sustainable Development Goals) forum about education for sustainable development goals.

The event has been promoted with the collaboration of Rondine International Peace Lab and the Italian delegation to the United Nations; its co-partners are the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UNESCO, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. The campaign has received the patronage from Regione Toscana (Tuscan Region) and the support of CEI (Episcopal Conference of Italy), Fondazione Mondo Unito, Fai – Fondation Assistance Internationale, Fondazione Brunello e Federica Cucinelli, BCC – Federazione Toscana and Fondazione Baracchi. It is possible to support the campaign and sign the Appeal at


Among the important meetings held by Rondine Cittadella della Pace with representatives of the institutional, political, social and cultural world, is the presentation of the Annual Report at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, one of the highest institutions in the State.

Rondine’s profound consideration of politics is behind its desire to promote dialogue and confrontation with the presentation of the initiatives it has undertaken and the significant results coming from the application of its educational method, starting with the young people of Studentato Internazionale – World House.


Tra gli importanti eventi di incontro che Rondine Cittadella della Pace promuove con esponenti del mondo istituzionale, politico, sociale e culturale, trova uno spazio fondamentale la presentazione del Rapporto Annuo alla Camera dei Deputati, una delle massime sedi istituzionali del Paese.

Dalla profonda considerazione che Rondine ha verso la Politica scaturisce il desiderio di favorire il dialogo e il confronto attraverso la presentazione delle attività svolte da Rondine e dai significativi risultati nell’applicazione della sua metodologia formativa, a partire dai giovani dello Studentato Internazionale – World House.


YouTopic Fest è il festival del conflitto: un appuntamento annuale in cui le varie community di Rondine e tutti i soggetti impegnati a diffondere la cultura della pace e della trasformazione dei conflitti si incontrano e si confrontano nella cornice della Cittadella della Pace.

Un evento network aperto a persone, imprese profit e no profit nazionali e internazionali, articolato in conferenze, testimonianze e laboratori.

L’obiettivo è l’individuazione e la condivisione di strumenti e buone pratiche per la costruzione di un modello sostenibile universalmente valido, capace di promuovere pace, integrazione, fiducia e sviluppo in tutto il mondo.