A Call for Peace

by Daniel Alexander

On December 4th, Amizade traveled to attend the screening premiere of the Documentary, A Call for Peace, at the UN in New York City.

A Call for Peace is a documentary that ‘aims to set new standards in the field of conflict transformation and global affairs.’ The film shows multiple interviews with renowned diplomats and leading global peace negotiators who played critical roles in shaping the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP). Their testimonies highlight the complex challenges involved in bringing antagonists together as well as the possibilities that emerge when the international community collaborates to achieve an end to violent conflict.

Regarding the Colombian war, this is an armed conflict that was ongoing for over five decades, claiming more than 250,000 lives and displacing millions of civilians. Throughout the years, peace negotiators developed innovative strategies and techniques to set the stage for constructive discussions between the Colombian government and the FARC, eventually leading to a breakthrough. As showcased in the documentary, the Colombian peace process is a prime example of trial and error in the complex process of peacemaking. The process proved to be variegated and opened up opportunities to consider different approaches to global peace internationally.

The Premiere of the documentary A Call for Peace at the ECOSOC Chamber in the UN

How is Amizade using their platform to create a more peaceful existence and deter the use of violence worldwide? Amizade’s approach starts with disarming radicalization through more preventative and proactive means, engaging youth in multiple grassroots communities around the world. When connecting to these communities, Amizade seeks to empower young individuals who are often, due to their social and economic challenges, prone to become involved in deviant behavior.

For almost twenty years, Amizade has worked with community partners in Northern Ireland to offer at-risk youth global service and learning opportunities. Global service-learning provides youth with the chance to witness struggles for justice, equity, and human rights in other international communities and work with local organizations on the front-lines of making change. The opportunity to step out of their own struggle and inject catalytic energy into furthering peace and justice efforts in another context not only leaves them feeling proud but fosters empathy and cross-pollination of ideas in service of creating broader social impact. While expanding their worldview, these programs also motivate youth to spend their life doing good for others, live as respectable global citizens, and, ultimately, dissolve the temptation to resolve conflicts through violence rather than peaceful means.

Amizade was honored to attend the world premiere of such a phenomenal documentary showcasing international collaboration to achieve an end to violent conflict and are excited to continue their efforts into the upcoming year and beyond.