One Young World 2017: Summit agenda, Counsellors and highlights unveiled

To view the full One Young World 2017 Bogotá Agenda, visit here

Peace and Reconciliation will be the over-arching theme of One Young World’s first Summit in Latin America, which begins in Bogotá on 4 October with an address by the Colombian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Juan Manuel Santos.


The spectacular opening ceremony, which will take place at the Sixteenth Century Plaza de Bolívar in the centre of the Colombian capital, will be attended by three other Nobel Peace Laureates; Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni human rights activist and founder of “Women Journalists Without Chains”, and the returning One Young World counsellors Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, and Muhammad Yunus, the social entrepreneur and founder of the Grameen Bank.


The four-day Summit will conclude with a dedicated Peace Day, addressing themes of conflict resolution in the light of Colombia’s own historic peace treaty, which was coordinated by President Santos last December and brought to an end a 52-year civil war that claimed more than 220,000 lives.

Last month (August), it was announced that the final batch of weapons carried by the FARC rebel group have been removed by United Nations inspectors. President Santos described the handover as “the last breath” of the civil war. Colombia is now seeking to reintegrate 7,000 demobilised rebels into its society.


Peace Day will open with a session on Truth & Reconciliation, in which One Young World Ambassador Taban Shoresh who survived the Kurdish genocide will host a discussion with Hassan Jallow, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia and the former Prosecutor of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and Thuli Madonsela, the former Public Protector in South Africa.

A Peace Without Borders session, which will examine the capacity of conflict to impact on an entire region, will feature contributions from Vinicio Cerezo, the first democratically-elected President of Guatemala who is currently the Secretary General of the Central American Integration System (SICA), and Beatrice Rangel, who was Chief of Staff to former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.


The Plenary Session on Peace & Reconciliation will address the question “How Do You Turn a Ceasefire into Lasting Peace?” and will feature a series of One Young World Delegates who have been instrumental to propagating peace in their countries. The role of the private sector in post-conflict societies will then be explored in a session led by Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.


Over the four days the Bogotá Summit will be addressed by global figures from the worlds of international politics, business, social entrepreneurship, sports and entertainment. Other Plenary Sessions are dedicated to Leadership & Government, Education, and Poverty Alleviation & Economic Development.

Senior figures from the corporate world will be present, including Ronan Dunne, EVP of Verizon Wireless, who will highlight the achievements of One Young World Ambassador community. Peter Schwarzenbauer, from BMW’s Board of Management and José María Álvarez-Pallete López, chair and CEO of Telefónica, will contribute to the education plenary session.

A special session dedicated to Raising Minority Voices will include contributions from the Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and the Colombian dancer Fernando Montaño, a soloist with the Royal Ballet.

This will be One Young World’s eighth annual Summit. Last year’s, in Ottawa, was opened by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The final ceremony in Bogotá will feature a closing address from the city’s mayor, Enrique Peñalosa, who will then handover to Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague, in anticipation of next year’s Summit in the Netherlands.

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