Youths join digital peace movement

Peace in every sphere of life must to achieve SDG16, says UN
Dhaka, Aug 28 – Youths at a dialogue titled “Peace Talk Café” on Wednesday vowed to build an environment of peace in the digital space.United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) arranged the dialogue to expand the space between youths and speakers from diverse backgrounds, underlining the fact that, building peace is not only the responsibility of technical specialists, rather the youth has a strong role to play.
This is part of UNDP’s ongoing Digital Khichuri Challenge, which is a youth engagement platform that aims to create a peaceful and inclusive society, according to UNDP.
Addressing the youths, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh Van Nguyen said they need to bring peace in every sphere of life, including social media and digital space, if they want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal16, which is ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
She said Peace Talk Café is an initiative to give youths a platform to discuss this issue and work for a peaceful and tolerant society.
“When your message creates harm, it’s no longer free speech, it’s just hate speech and when you see hatred on social media, do your part to change that, your message of positivity can certainly make an impact,” she added.
“Music plays a tremendous role in our culture, it can be a weapon against any negative force,” said acclaimed musician and songwriter Bappa Mazumder.
“It’s important to practise art and culture in school and society,” he urged the youth.
Samia Haq , an associate professor, at BRAC University pointed out the socioeconomic pressure that today’s youths have to battle.
“A question that we’ve to face constantly is about our identity – and when we attempt to answer this question, it brings up the many faults in our society in terms of class, gender, and more,” she said.
“Often times, identity politics give way to a highly divided society. If we can build platforms through art, education, or even research, then these faults can be addressed.”
Ayman Sadiq, founder of Robi 10 Minute School said right now, everyone has a platform to voice their opinions that is social media.
“But I believe many of us have noticed that hatred is much louder on social media than positivity,” he said.
Highlighting the importance of diversity, speakers said the society cannot progress without the combined efforts of people of every community, ethnicity, religion, and race.
Tousif Tanzim Ahmed of Positive Bangladesh, the team that was first runner-up of Digital Khichuri Challenge, said they want to change the growing culture of negativity and hatred.
“We want to teach the youth to think positive and represent Bangladesh in a positive light globally,” he said.
Mahmuda Afroz, Head of Governance Cluster, Robert Stoelman, Senior Programme Manager and Md Abdul Quayyum, Head of Communications, UNDP Bangladesh were, among others, present. – UNB