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Event for young peace ambassadors: The Power of Youth to Build Peace in the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth Secretariat Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Unit in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (CYPAN), is pleased to announce an upcoming event, entitled The Power of Youth to Build Peace in the Commonwealth.

This online event will be an open forum for discussion between young peacebuilders, experts in the field, and peace advocates across the Commonwealth.

Youth leadership in decision making

Overall, a large majority of the youth still lack the opportunity to be at the decision-making table and are not taken seriously as a valuable partner in solving current global issues.

This is especially important within the P/CVE context, which disproportionally affects youth across the Commonwealth. COVID-19 has intensified the urgency of addressing the issues to be discussed at the CYF, not least the need for young people to be at the very heart of shaping the policies and institutions that directly impact their lives.

A Commonwealth Action Series sub-session on CHOGM Theme 5: "Rule of Law and Youth Leadership in Decision-Making", this interactive discussion will focus on the challenges in increasing youth leadership and participation, and how youth can be effectively empowered to lead on peacebuilding and preventing and countering violent extremism across the Commonwealth.


The event boasts a great line-up of speakers, including:

  • Mansi Arun Panjwani (Panellist): founder of the Peace Collective, Mansi is a peacebuilder and an international facilitator and trainer on humanistic leadership, organisational happiness and well-being, human rights, conflict transformation and peacebuilding. LinkedIn
  • Christine Odera (Panellist): a fierce advocate for Peace and Security and Human Rights, with over 5 years’ experience in Youth Networks and alliance building, Programing, advocacy, policy, Intercultural and experimental learning, mediation and research. LinkedIn
  • Kosta Lucas (Panellist): Kosta is an independent researcher and civil society professional in the field of preventing and countering violent extremism, with considerable experience in policy, research and grassroots program development roles. He is the founder of his own consultancy, Synqup, whose mandate is "turning conflict into community". LinkedIn
  • Achaleke Christian Leke (Panellist): a youth peace building and countering violent extremism expert with 14 years of experience working as a practitioner, researcher and university lecturer in Cameroon and other conflict affected countries across the world. Christian has developed from a community actor to a global  expert and consultant with young people, international organisations, governments and UN agencies across the world. LinkedIn
  • Kurba-Marie Questelles (Moderator): a Peace and Security Specialist and a certified Restorative Justice Practitioner with expertise in crime and violence prevention, preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) and peacebuilding. LinkedIn

Each panellist will be writing a short fascinating opinion piece on the topic of the session, which will be sent to attendees prior to the event, so that they can come prepared with questions, comments and suggestions.

This virtual panel event is open to all peace advocates, especially those who are looking to engage and share ideas with some incredible experts in the field, and to bolster their abilities in peace-building and CVE.

Register for the event