Romance, 14 years old, is a member of the delegation of young people from the DRC who went to the Hope Forum in Bujumbura. She took advantage of this opportunity to ask Professor Ntumba Luaba, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, 3 questions.
In your opinion, what is our role as children from countries belonging to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in the peace building process?
Young people have a number of roles to play. First of all they need to remind adults of their responsibilities, especially those in power, in order to encourage them to establish and consolidate peace. Then, they need to ask adults to be accountable for their actions in promoting peace and in protecting children. Finally, it is up to each one of you to cultivate values of peace, tolerance and acceptance of others because you are the future of our countries.
Do you think there will be any positive outcomes from this Forum?
Yes, of course! Indeed, after this forum the young people will be expected to deliver the messages they are in the process of preparing to their respective leaders and heads of state. After that, we will organise other meetings that will enable you to continue your efforts.
Since the signing of the agreement, have you assessed the progress made by each signatory country with respect to their commitments?
We are moving forward. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs are individually preparing their own assessments. In the DRC, for example, we have defeated the armed groups M23 and ADF Nalu. Of course other situations remain a cause of concern. I am thinking of South Sudan and the Central African Republic where another round of violence seems to have taken hold. They have not succeeded in stopping the militia and young people are not going to school. It is very worrying. It is therefore our joint responsibility to raise their awareness through messages and to take all necessary steps to restore peace.
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Photos: UNICEF DRC/Majourel /2014
Post translated from French by Daphne Wood.
Romance a 14 ans, elle habite Lumumbashi et elle représentera la Province du Katanga au Forum de l'espoir de Bujumbura fin Mai 2014.
Romance, 14 years old, lives in Lubumbashi and will represent Katanga Province at the Bujumbura Hope Forum, end of May 2014.
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