Youngsters vote for peaceful future

The best law students from 21 countries recently arrived in Minsk for the International Olympiad Youth for Peace

Not only politicians and state leaders spend time contemplating how to dissipate political tensions and preserve peace on Earth. The best law students from 21 countries recently arrived in Minsk for the International Olympiad Youth for Peace, searching for answers to these questions.
By Anastasia Shoplya

Not only politicians and state leaders spend time contemplating how to dissipate political tensions and preserve peace on Earth. The best law students from 21 countries recently arrived in Minsk for the International Olympiad Youth for Peace, searching for answers to these questions.

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Participants of International Youth for Peace Olympiad


The International MITSO University, with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), recently organised its ninth juridical competition. Unlike any other in Eastern Europe or the CIS, it allows students to display their knowledge of international humanitarian law. The Deputy Head of the ICRC Regional Delegation, Bruno Uskine, tells us, “Similar competitions also promote the spread of knowledge in this area.”

Youth for Peace allows students to share their opinions and improve skills developed during their studies. This year, 17 teams competed, taking on the roles of lawyers, advisers and ministers for foreign affairs, trying to convince the jury who play the role of heads of states or leaders of opposing forces. Each team’s success lies in its ability to express its views clearly and convincingly, while referring to norms of international humanitarian and public law. Incorrect references lead to loss of points: of course, in the real world, diplomats’ errors or unwisely chosen words can have far more unpleasant consequences.

Experts on international law attended to help judge the event — among them, Anastasia Kushleiko, ICRC Adviser on Integration and Development of International Humanitarian Law for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She noted the efficiency of the role-playing games, saying, “I know many people working in the sphere of international law who recall having taken part in similar competitions in their youth. They note that their interest was roused from those games, so the MITSO initiative may well influence the future professional choices of students.”

Despite the atmosphere of rivalry, every year, participants of the Olympiad find new friends. Various entertainments are organised for the young people by the university, including excursions around Minsk and an evening of national traditions, where the students are encouraged to share aspects of their country’s culture.

This year’s Olympiad was special, featuring the signing of a memorandum of co-operation between MITSO and the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Russia, Belarus and Moldova. The First Pro-rector of MITSO, Andrey Kozik, believes this agreement is a new step in expanding co-operation.
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