В России есть Движение юных миротворцев под эгидой ООН

В России есть Движение юных миротворцев под эгидой ООН


MOSCOW (RIA Novosti commentator Olga Sobolevskaya) - May 29 marks a significant date on the calendar. It is International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

Russia, which has been part of UN peacekeeping operations for 32 years, has its own Movement of Young Peacemakers and Schools of Peace. Its numbers are still small. It includes 1,100 members and 60 schools. Nevertheless, according to its head, co-chairman of the Council of Children's Public Movement of Moscow Valery Gergel, "many children desire to become participants of the Movement," and those include not only Russian, but also Belarussian and Ukrainian children.

"Children like to be peacemakers. They consider it a prestigious and honorable duty," says Valery Gergel. He believes the media, as an influential educator of young people, must promote the image of a hero who is capable of attaining high goals without using violence or weapons. "Every day, hundreds of UN peacekeepers, Russian and foreign, risk their lives for the sake of peace and stability on Earth. They enter, armless, the positions of conflicting sides and conduct cease-fire negotiations," Gergel emphasizes. By joining the movement, children "vote for a future strategy, for a new vector of Russia's development," the founder of the Movement underlines. These words probably mean "Russia's role as an intermediary in the solution of global antagonisms."

"There is a distinctive conflict between the so-called "golden billion" and the third world led by Muslim countries. The "golden billion" countries practically depleted their spiritual potential, while the Muslim world is on the rise," Valery Gergel points out. In his opinion, Russia's geopolitical advantage lies in the fact that the country does not belong to either camp. Russia can use this advantage by "promoting the culture of peace and accomplishing its peacekeeping mission."

The Movement of Young Peacemakers is not politicized, though, Valery Gergel emphasizes. "Children's' public organizations should stay away from politics. A democratic state needs various children's organizations. It is a precondition for the development of civil society," he believes. "If during the Soviet times we talked only about good deeds of the Russian pioneer movement (it does exist today, although in a different form), now we can add to it the deeds of young scouts, peacemakers, members of other children and youth organizations."

"Recently, patriotic attitudes among children have been on the rise," Gergel says. For instance, children actively participated in celebration of the 60th anniversary of Victory in WWII this year. "Only three-four years ago we could not even imagine that our children would march with pride on Red Square," Gergel emphasizes. During the Victory parades, they marched side-by-side with veterans, took care of the monuments to the defenders of Russia, gathered materials for the Remembrance Book. Young peacemakers staged concerts for World War II veterans and gave them commemorative medals.

Today, the patriotic education embraces not only the children's knowledge of their duties, but also their rights. Children must be able to defend themselves, including legally. In the framework of the "Young Peacemaker," members of the Movement study the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Children's Rights. The times of "irrational," "blind" patriotism are gone," believes Gergel. "At present, we are working on an Internet-based educational project designed to teach children how to settle conflicts," Gergel recounts. "Later on, it will create conditions for future promotion of peacemaking ideals among children in CIS countries."

And, apparently, not only there. Recently, a Chinese child residing in Moscow joined the Movement of Young Peacemakers. The questionnaire that parents are supposed to fill in before their child joins the Movement contained a question, "Are you ready to support young peacemakers?" The Chinese family answered, "With all possible effort."