A Reflection on the Interfaith Youth Peacebuilding

 My Piece of Peace

A Reflection on the Interfaith Youth Peacebuilding Activities
from India, Thailand and Indonesia Assemblies 

It was such a great privilege and honor to be part of the Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs’ ‘Program Committee. I was invited to this year’s two great events: the APAY Assembly in Chennai, India, and the Peace Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Both programs were motivated by the passion to seek to contribute to the efforts of peacebuilding in the region of Asia, particularly in conflicted areas.

 A great conversation on the Global Unites Movement with a General Secretary of World YMCA Mr. Sanvee Madjri Carlos

 The Asia Pacific  Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) 5th Youth Assembly was held at the YMCA International Youth Center on September 13-15, 2023. This was followed by the 21st General Assembly of the APAY that took place from September 15 September 20 at the Hyatt Regency in Chennai India. The theme of the assembly was “Journeying Together as a Resilient Community: Transforming Lives Through Vision 2030.” The 21st General Assembly of the APAY offers a perfect atmosphere for insightful discussions on integrating and enacting Vision 2030 across different grassroots communities in the Asia Pacific region through our actions to bring the vision to existence. I thought of how important it is for youth leadership roles, for young people who are committed to confronting these global issues collectively. The youth assembly offers youths an environment for fostering dialogue, as well as chances to promote solidarity among young people from various ethnic and social backgrounds.

Group Photo in the 5th Youth Assembly in Chennai India.

From India, some of the youth participants proceeded to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the Peace Conference which was held on Sept. 27-30, 2023 at the YMCA International Hotel in Chiang Mai. The theme of the Peace Conference was “Towards an Empowered Asian Interfaith Youth Network for Peacebuilding.”  ICF invited each ICF alumni country organization to set up a booth to showcase their initiatives and projects. My organization, the Nepal Unites Team put up our booth where peacebuilders from other countries came to explore how we are working peacebuilding activities and I also learned from their presented engagements. Since the majority of the participants were ICF alumni, we discussed issues that threaten Asia’s peace and harmony.  As leader of the youth movement, I learned how to elevate our advocacy and work while collaborating with other organizations to promote peace at the national and regional levels. The youths in both the India assembly and Thailand Peace conference events released a collective statement respectively outlining their vision for Asia’s transformation of conflict and promotion of peace.

Nepal Unites Team put up our booth in the Peace Conference Chiang Mai, Thailand.

While I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand, attending the Peace Conference organized by the Interfaith Cooperation Forum and Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, I received an invitation letter from the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN). AMAN invited me to be one of the speakers during the International Conference and Assembly that was to be held in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The International Conference and AMAN Assembly was held last October 14-17, 2023 at the Ali Hasyimi Auditorium, UIN Ar- Raniry, Banda Aceh Indonesia on the theme “Religious Inclusion and Peacebuilding in the World: The Perspectives of Muslims.” Around 400 delegates from 21 different countries are in attendance. Comparing it with the previous assemblies, there were more women representatives this year.  The four-day agenda addressed religious inclusion as a significant global task for all communities. I was one of the speakers on the topic “Reinventing Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Youth Peace Movement and Technology”. The two nonviolent civil rights activists Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were also mentioned, along with how they were able to advance civil rights without engaging in any violent actions. In my presentation I spoke on the power of nonviolence, how it coexists with violent and nonviolent protest in the context of Nepal, the use of technology in advancing peacebuilding. I also highlight the contribution of the Global Unites as a Youth Peace Movement and how it is working for peace and reconciliation.

Mohammad Ayatulla Rahaman presented the Global Unites as a Youth Peace Movements during the International Conference and AMAN Assembly 2023 in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
What was highlighted in all these conferences and assemblies I have attended from India, Thailand, and Indonesia is a teaching of respect and non-discrimination of people regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and religion. Norms such as respect, appreciation, and solidarity among different cultures and religions can contribute to a more peaceful world, and assisting one another in times of need can strengthen ties within communities. Building peace is like picking up small pieces of things that we build collectively to make it whole.

The delegates of the 2023 International Conference and AMAN Assembly at Banda Aceh, Indonesia.


Mohammad Ayatulla Rahaman
National Director
Nepal Unites