CIGI Builds Awareness of Global Issues among Youth

Building Blocks of Peace theme for third annual Global Youth Forum

March 19, 2007

Waterloo, Canada - On March 29, one hundred local high school students from the Region of Waterloo will attend the third annual Global Youth Forum (GYF), a one day conference held at CIGI (the Centre for International Governance Innovation), a leading Canadian research centre focused on international relations and policy.

The purpose of the event, co-hosted by CIGI and the KW YMCA, is to expose students to global issues and present different ways they can become involved in "making the world a better place," both at home and abroad.

The theme for this year's event is "The Building Blocks of Peace." Students from the Waterloo Region who have demonstrated an interest in international issues have been selected by their teachers to attend the event.

John English, CIGI's Executive Director, says, "Part of CIGI's overall mandate is to build Canadian capacity to help shape and encourage discussion amongst today's youth about international relations. The Global Youth Forum is an annual event at CIGI, a tangible demonstration of our commitment to this goal".

By participating in interactive games, workshops and activities, students will develop an increased awareness and understanding of international issues. Workshops led by various international organizations will expose students to many of the ways they can become involved in global issues by discussing topics such as: technology, warfare, peace-building, environment, human rights and health.

The speakers for the day include Dr. Andrew F. Cooper, associate director and a distinguished fellow at CIGI, as well as speakers from Project Ploughshares, the Mennonite Central Committee, Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and TakingITGlobal.

The students will have the opportunity to stay connected with other students who share their interest in global issues through the Global Youth Forum Community (

Sarah Loewen, International Supervisor, Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA comments, "If youth are to fully participate as engaged and valued members of civil society then we must commit ourselves to their sustained education and awareness of global issues. This is why the GYF online community is an essential tool that maximizes the learning potential for students."

Using its IGLOOTM technology, CIGI has created this online community to enable students and teachers to access related materials, participate in activities and continue to engage in discussions long after the conference is over.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.