Conscience and Rotaract – Working Together to Build a More Peaceful World

by Campaign ~ August 29th, 2014. Filed under: News.

conscience was proud to be drafted in as a policy expert for Rotaract Model United Nation on the 4-7th of September. Rotaract is the youth wing of Rotary International, a servicen organisation dedicated to making a difference in their communities.

With Participants from over 25 countries the conference was a massive success and brought insights from across the Americas, Asia and Europe. conscience was involved in the Peacebuilding Commission with our Campaign Manager advising the commission on  different approaches to conflict prevention also the different countries in which they might be effective and the role the governments and NGOs have in implementing them

The debate was vigorous and far ranging which included approaches in dealing with ending sexual violence in conflict, the proliferation of small arms and the recruitment of child soldiers. The commission after highlighting these key problems worked towards developing innovative solutions – using farming subsidies to incentivise opium farmers in Afghanistan to demilitarise, incorporating militia groups into state police and armed services to reduce instability and strengthening judicial systems to bring the perpetrators of sexual violence to justice.

This worked its way into becoming a resolution which was unanimously passed by the conference. This will now be presented by Rotary International to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in New York later this year. conscience is proud to help shape a document that will be presented to international decision makers.

Rotaract Model United Nations is only in its second year but is already a highly effective organisation securing representation at the UN, involving so many different countries and putting on such a professional conference. conscience sees tremendous potential in this effort to promote internationalism and peacebuilding amongst young professionals and hopes it will continue to grow.

conscience’s Campaign manager was the keynote speaker at the closing ceremony highlighting the success of the conference but also the challenges ahead too, telling MUN delegates:

“War is a disease too – and in the 20th century it killed an estimated 187 million people. That’s more than smallpox, cholera and HIV AIDs combined. Since 1945, 90% of war deaths have been civilians. Despite this government efforts have been solely looking at treating the symptoms of warfare. In 2012-2013 the UK government spent 100 times more on military activity than it did on conflict prevention.

100 times. We think this an unbalanced approach. We think this an unsustainable approach. There is another way. Against this bleak backdrop enter conscience. We are campaigning to make peacebuilding front and centre of UK foreign policy. To show policy makers that prevention is better than war.”

conscience passionately believes that grassroots led organisations like Rotaract will be key in presenting an effective narrative around peacebuilding to decision makers across the world.

We hope this just the beginning of a future partnership with Rotaract and Rotary International and conscience wishes them the best in all of their future initiatives.


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