Friday 9th December 2011 saw the beginning of the European Leadership Conference 2011 in London. The conference was co-organised by the Universal Peace Federation and the Women’s Peace Federation; both international organisations with values of peace, freedom and justice at the core of their goals. The conference was truly international in nature and brought together individuals from all over the world from different walks of life; including students, government officials, former heads of states, NGO representatives, charity directors, international diplomats amongst others. Restless Beings was privileged enough to have been invited to participate in the conference taking place in the Houses of Parliament and the Universal Peace Federation’s headquarters in London.
The conference was titled ‘Commemorating World Human Rights Day 2011: How far have we progressed?’ The focus of the three day programme was based on charting human rights successes and weaknesses to date whilst identifying strategies for future improvement. A key feature of the agenda was the role of youth in the promotion of the human rights discourse. Mabrur Ahmed, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Restless Beings was invited to speak at the House of Lords on the youth panel’s ‘How to make dignity a reality?’ session. The work of Restless Beings and our ethos was received greatly by participants at the conference, who particularly were interested in our creative, grassroot and holistic approach in targeting human rights issues whilst mobilising young people to contribute towards change.
In the evening, artists close to our heart, the wonderful Poetic Pilgrimage joined us at the conference for the gala dinner. In true Restless Beings spirit through a combination of phenomenal spoken word, music and impromptu performances, Poetic Pilgrimage embodied alternative creativity, youth and courage sharing the message of peace, solidarity and justice. Having stolen the stage, conference participants left for the night with Poetic Pilgrimage and Restless Beings stirring in their minds.
On Saturday, Restless Beings representatives from the Youth, Partnerships and Web team joined the conference for a fantastic World Café networking session. This provided a brilliant opportunity for debating issues of human rights, dignity and how to make these a reality with representatives from organisations all over the world. This was the perfect platform to share Restless Beings’ work and our unique approach.
Restless Beings thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the European Leadership Conference 2011 commemorating World Human Rights Day. Events such as these allow us to see what advances have been made in the area, and what still needs to be done. What must not be lost is how much progress remains to be had in the name of human rights protection across the world, for each and every voiceless, silenced, marginalised, occupied, violated individual and community. However, what is inspiring, is reminders such as these highlighting the unity and willpower in people striving for a world governed by peace, equality and justice. For it is only when individuals come together at the grass root level, when real change can be made.