On 29th of June our WYAE team participated in a special event in the European Parliament hosted by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Flavio Zanonato and Silvia Costa from the Socialist and Democrats party. Within the larger theme of “Engaging Civil Society to Build Security and Cohesion in Europe”, there were two sessions: The first session had the theme ‘Role Of Women And Mothers In The Prevention of Radicalisation of Youth’ and the second ‘Role of Intercultural / Interreligious Dialogue And Education To Build Security And Cohesion’. Antoine Mellado, WYAE Director of Advocacy, also spoke during the session. While focusing on WYA’s education pillar, he talked about the Human Dignity Curriculum, a program of Citizenship education for children developed by WYA. Other speakers were representing, among others, UNODOC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), Women without Borders, Universal Peace Federation and International Organization on Migration.
Nowadays Europe could be seen as a crossroad. On the one hand, the European population is confronted with demands to welcome people fleeing from their countries in consideration of the founding principles of the union, as well as personal convictions but on the other hand their capacities and also patience seems to be overwhelmed. Yet, looming are the serious concerns related to the successful integration of increasingly multicultural societies. If done well, the benefits all around are great, but if not, the sense of exclusion and dissatisfaction can be a breeding ground for more serious concerns. As mentioned from Carolyn Handschin (International vice-president of the Women’s federation for World Peace International), it is not exclusively in the Government’s hands to solve this issue. Moreover, concern and engagement has to begin in civil society, within each family and within each person. Feeling responsible begins already in our small network, she added. A common denominator could be reached in the special role and also the empowerment of the youth, who should be ideally more integrated in a solution finding process.
Accordingly to WYA’s vision, David Fraser Harris (Universal Peace Federation), Silva Costa (MEP and Chair of Culture and Education), Cécile Kyenge (MEP Vice-chair of the joint parliamentary assembly of European Union and Asia, Caribbean and Pacific countries) and Antoine Mellado, while representing WYA, emphasized that mothers have a unique access to preventive solutions against youth radicalisation and could definitely do more with a fitting training program. Further religious and cultural influences and the authorities representing them also got an important responsibility to provide a model for peaceful and cohesive communities. Similarly, educational institutions and the curricula that frame them will play a significant role in providing incentive for good citizenship and wise government.
Antoine Mellado’s intervention was centered on the central role of the family in the education of their children. A role that can’t be play by the state even with infinite resources so by consequence the only way to guarantee the best education of the future generations is that the State support better and more the parents in the education of their children and never replace them by specialized civil servants; who could be good advisers to parents but they will never be able to provide the same amount of “Love”.
Written by Alexander Kozak, intern in WYA Europe office