Ms. Michelle Bernier was one of our scholarship holders from last year’s LIWC 2021 in Medellin. She talked about her experience traveling from Venezuela. She has shown great determination in the fight for human rights and has been active in many projects since our conference. Therefore we are very pleased to announce her latest achievement!
Michelle represented Colombia in Global Peace Summit Dubai. The Global Peace Summit took place in Dubai between 23rd to 26th Feb 2022. With over 180+ delegates from over 90+ countries, the summit provided a platform for young changemakers to connect, collaborate and collate their ideas on how to create a freer world through peace, communication, and public policy.
Michelle was born in Zulia, Venezuela, graduated as a Lawyer from Universidad Rafael Urdaneta and completed a Masters’ in Law and International Business with a double degree at Universidad Europea del Atlantico and Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana in Mexico.
Michelle began a great stage of her leadership as a Local Coordinator in Students for Liberty, where she carried out different projects of citizen empowerment and political innovation, encouraging the struggle for civil and economic rights. She won Leader of the Year in 2020.
Today, she is the National Coordinator of Students for Liberty Colombia, an experience that allowed her to speak at the Global Peace Summit about the work that the organization has done in Colombia, the challenges they have had, and how they see the future of freedom for young Colombians.
The CEO of Global Peace Chain, Mr. Kamran Zafar welcomed all delegates and thanked them for being a part of their mission of peacebuilding. An overview of the journey of GPC was shown as highlights. Day 1 began with an official oath ceremony. This was followed by Co-founder – Muhammad Ahmad’s address where he stated that ‘you are young leaders of the society and are striving to make a difference. We, at GPC, unite young people for a big cause. You will walk away with strategies and confidence to implement your ideas with the right support offered by us. The diversity in age groups means we learn from each other, share expertise and knowledge. The nature of focus is capacity building, networking, collaborating, and implementing your social initiatives.”
Mr. Usman held a motivational session on life and its challenges. He stated, ‘Success is an iceberg, people see your achievements but fail to see all that goes on behind the scenes i.e. dedication, hard work, failures, setbacks.’
Ms. Ridhima Batra held a fantastic meditation session and highlighted that meditation is enjoying every moment you go through. To control your thoughts, meditation is important. Life is the breath that we are taking. Control your thoughts through breathing. Delegates shared their experiences about meditation and how important it is to cope with anxiety and mental health-related issues. The meditating session was very interactive and thoroughly enjoyed by delegates.
On the second day, there was a special session by the diplomat of Afghanistan on the Grassroots and policymaking of Afghanistan. This was followed by various panels in which delegates shared their perspective on global issues. First, was the Diplomatic/Policy Makers Panel Talk, where diplomats from various countries were invited to discuss current happenings around the world. The diplomat from Ukraine raised the issue of the current situation of her country and also talked about peace by action. Topics ranging from the various UN SDGs, were discussed.
There was also the Young Leaders Panel Talk where delegates who are doing fantastic in their respective communities were invited to share their work and how they are helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially goal 16 which deals with peace, justice, and strong institutions.
The day also involved interactive events like delegates’ performances where delegates performed culturally to showcase the diversity within the summit and undergo cultural exchange. There were few bilateral sessions that were held between a few countries to discuss the solutions for disputes between their own countries.
This day was the most exciting day in which all delegates appeared in their respective cultural attire. This shows the diversity of the world and how it can come together in attaining peace. The day began with an interesting talk on Human Rights in International Law: The Politics of Human Rights by Mr. Ali Tahir. The day also included various delegates’ presentations where different projects of delegates were shared and judged by a panel of judges. A panel on the Conflict of the Middle East and how to get to the bottom of it was also held and presented by three delegates from the Middle East. The day was closed by an awarding ceremony which consisted of awarding medals and certificates to the most deserving delegates.
For Michelle, being the only Colombian selected and being able to actually participate in this program, speak in front of so many leaders worldwide, and win recognition for her work, mean a lot. “Being the only one selected is something that gives me pride, but I also know that it is a great responsibility, and I know that I am up to what this commitment means. Freedom must be spread in all spaces, even in new ones.” she expressed.