Peacebuilding is one of the most important causes to work on. It is fundamental. It consists of creating an environment of security and conditions of well-being through access to things such as health care, education, and water. Therefore, it is without a doubt, very important.
Even today, in the 21st century, humans still cause each other pain and suffering. The reasons can vary, from religious intolerance to exploitation of natural resources. The reasons do not matter; war should never be considered as an alternative.
My name is Desirée Viteri and I am from Quito, Ecuador. My first experience regarding peace and international development was when I did my Rotary Youth Exchange program. This experience taught me about peace, culture, cooperation, development, sustainability, and gender equality, among others.
Later on, a little more than a year ago, I started volunteering for this NGO, (The Organization for World Peace) and it has been a wonderful experience. This international think tank focuses on providing non-combative solutions to complex international crises while strictly advocating non-violence. I love this work because, as a Senior Correspondent, I get to promote peace and development through producing high-quality articles regarding peace, international affairs, and gender equality. I feel happy to be a part of the team because it is an opportunity for me to help to build a better world.
Last year, I had the chance to be selected as a member of the second cohort of the 2020 Institute for Economics and Peace Ambassador Program (IEP). It was a very selective, cohort-based program of peacemakers based all over the world from various disciplines and sectors. I was chosen as an Ambassador because of my personal, professional, and academic contributions to peace. In order to complete the program, I hosted webinars about Positive Peace and about the Positive Peace Index 2020 for team members at the Organization for World Peace and for my Rotary Club in Quito. The idea was to share some interesting concepts regarding peace as well as exciting findings and frameworks regarding the work of the IEP.
Being a Peace Ambassador for IEP has been a wonderful opportunity that has allowed me to learn about various interesting concepts regarding peace. For example, I had the opportunity to learn about Positive Peace and Negative Peace. Also, I had the chance to discover some exciting findings and frameworks regarding the work of the Institute for Economics and Peace, such as the Positive Peace Index. The IEP does a magnificent job. For instance, they use data-driven research to show that peace is an achievable measure of human wellbeing and development, and they have identified key factors that lead to Positive Peace such as:
- Low levels of corruption
- Acceptance of the rights of others
- Free flow of information
- Strong business environment
- High levels of human capital
- Equitable distribution of resources
- Good relations with neighbors
- Well-functioning government
All in all, learning and teaching about peace is wonderful. Generating consciousness in the population about important matters like peace is very fulfilling. Education always leads to development and peace. Being a Peace Ambassador has given me the chance to deepen my knowledge of several important international matters. One of my passions is promoting gender equality and female economic empowerment, and it is usually peaceful countries that defend and respect gender equality the most. What I have learned thanks to being a Peace Ambassador has certainly had a direct positive impact on my professional development towards being a peace leader and a women’s rights advocate.