«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.