Representatives of 20 countries attended the meeting organized by the Italian PR Massari at the Mission in NYC. Many expressed strong support for the initiative.
A delegation of Rondine – Cittadella della Pace met with several representatives of UN countries in New York City thanks to H.E. Amb. Maurizio Massari, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York. The meeting occurred less than 24 hours after the President of Rondine, Mr. Franco Vaccari, had met with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN Headquarters on April 21, 2022. Ambassador Massari organized an event to raise awareness among Governments on Rondine’s global Leaders for Peace campaign, aimed at training new leaders for peace for the future building on Rondine’s methodology for creative conflict transformation. “In line with the priorities Italy promotes every year at the United Nations, Rondine is a source of inspiration for how it truly puts young people at the heart of their work” affirmed Massari while opening the meeting. Among the countries in the room, Argentina, Austria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ireland, Jordan, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Timor Leste, and the Observer of the Holy See.
Together with Rondine’s President Vaccari and other representatives of Rondine, the meeting saw the presence of H.E. Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Cardinal Bassetti stressed his long-lasting friendship with Rondine and the reasons behind his sincere commitment and support to the work of the organization: “Coming to Rondine, I saw the same values the former mayor of Florence Giorgio La Pira tried to bring all over the world during his mandate; in particular, the way a meeting with your enemy could turn him or her into a friend; swallows (in Italian, Rondine), however, need safe harbors were to rest during their flight, and we can represent these harbors in the flight of our youth towards their future, towards spring; this harbor, for many, is Rondine” said the Cardinal.
Miguel Ángel Moratinos, UN Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was also present to the meeting. Once taken the floor, he expressed his will to draft a memorandum of understanding between UNAOC and Rondine to multiply current peace efforts, recognizing Rondine’s work as “an inspiration in the quest for peace and fraternity and, as said by Pope Francis, the last frontier of humanity is indeed fraternity”.
Rondine’s students attended the meeting virtually, from Rondine. A group of students representing the whole World House campus, where Rondine hosts students from places of war or post-conflict situations, brought the Leaders for Peace appeal to the meeting, while sharing their own experience and testimony. “During our two years in Rondine we learn how to deconstruct the idea of the enemy, how to develop project with a social, economic and political impact for our communities and for the world, in the light of the need for sustainable and peaceful development” said Kama, a student from Mali. “We are working to promote this campaign, Leaders for Peace, because we believe in future peace leaders as we are, and training more and more young people to peace and dialogue will be possible only with your support, Representatives to the UN”, she continued.
Several countries expressed support to the initiative and sincere commitment. H.E. Amb. Rodrigo Carazo Zeledón, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica, stated his commitment to “kickstart a process based on this campaign in my country, Costa Rica, already from the next spring, together with the Ministry of Peace; I will invite a delegate from every country sitting here today at this meeting, and this will be Costa Rica’s contribution to this global effort”, he said.
Full support also from H.E. Amb. Vanessa Frazier, Permanent Representative of Malta. “I am a fan of Rondine, I will support this project in every possible way; I would like to express my appreciation for this project, for your twenty years of experience in this field, for your methodology, I think the Rondine Method fully reflects my views and I think we should all be able to respond the Appeal launched by these young students”, she said.
H.E. Amb. Oliver Maes, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, said that “Luxembourg as well supports enhanced participation of young people in political processes; therefore, we express appreciation for this initiative”, he said. Similarly, the representative from Morocco stressed the appreciation of her Mission for Rondine and its work, affirming that “Rondine trains through agents of change, leaders of peace”.
This wide support by the international community opens significative expectations for the next two years of the campaign and its concrete outcome, the future Global Leaders School project, to be launched in New York in December 2023.