PEACEWAYS, which creates ways to Peace, is the umbrella organization for the Young General Assembly (YGA) an international organization planned and established by charter by people under 18 worldwide over a period of 11 years. The YGA serves as a voice in international affairs for people under 18 and also aims to partner with the United Nations in building a Peaceful world. It does this by designing project plans at its annual sessions, distributing them throughout the world and involving other young people in responsibly active citizenship. The Young General Assembly presently has 70 Member Organizations in 40 countries involving over one million young people worldwide.
This past year PEACEWAYS /YGA was awarded special consultative status by ECOSOC and consultative status by UNICEF. Young General Assembly representatives participated in six important conferences during United Nations Millennium activities at the UN Headquarters in New York. In January, YGA representatives attended the Second PrepCom for the United Nations Special Session on Children. The representatives made statements on the microphone to promote a tri-celebration beginning with the International Day of Peace, extending through Culture of Peace Week, and culminating with Hear the Children Day of Peace, which was proposed by children themselves developing the Young General Assembly.
YGA representatives also actively participated in the Third PrepCom aimed at finalizing the document: A World Fit for Children. Two representatives wrote for the daily newspaper: On the Record for Children and the other representatives contacted officials of several government delegations in order to urge them to use the words "with children" often in the document to enforce the 1990 World Summit for Children invitation. Among the partnerships we seek, we turn to children themselves. The Young General Assembly will hold its Second Annual Session in Swaziland in late July to prepare for the upcoming World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance the Second Earth Summit and to address eliminating HIV/AIDS, promoting Volunteerism, and other issues that the children decide upon that will set the Young GA activities for the following year.