The U.S. Institute of Peace and His Holiness the Dalai Lama have joined to strengthen the abilities of youth leaders to build peace in the world’s most violent regions. In October 2018, USIP and the Dalai Lama hosted a third annual dialogue with youth peacebuilders drawn from countries across the globe. Many of these countries face the world’s deadliest wars, as well as campaigns by extremist groups to incite youth to violence. These leaders are among their countries’ most effective peacebuilders. The dialogue with the Dalai Lama helped them to build the personal resilience they need to work against the tensions or violence in their homelands.
Few world leaders can understand these youth peacebuilders’ experiences as fully as His Holiness, who at age 15 was thrust into the leadership of his people as they faced the traumas of war. Like some of the participants, he fled his country as a refugee and has lived for years in exile.
In Dharamsala, the youth leaders will share their experiences and will discuss with His Holiness ways in which youth leaders and world leaders can cooperatively build peace. The very engagement of youth with His Holiness will serve as a model for the youth on how to bridge intergenerational divides. The conversation in Dharamsala will provide a platform for greater international advocacy for youth priorities in peace and security and will expand the global impact of youth leaders.
The program will bring a group of youth peacebuilders to Dharamsala for two days of conversation with the Dalai Lama to discuss ways in which youth can partner with international leaders to build peace. Selected youth will come from some of the world’s most conflict-ridden areas.