Students participated in Peace Resolution signing

France and Switzerland signed a Treaty of Perpetual Peace at Fribourg 500 years ago. On this occasion, the University of Fribourg organized a meeting for European students, which took place from 27th November to 1st December, 2016. The aim of the meeting was signing European Youth Resolution on Peace. Lithuania was represented by four students from Vytautas Magnus University. Three of them are students at the Faculty of Humanities (Gintarė Žaldokaitė, Kristina Urbaitytė, Martynas Bruenker). Urtė Januškevičiūtė, a student at the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy, as well as students from different European countries such as Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Bulgaria participated in the event.

According to the participants of the project, the travel went smoothly. “An employee from Lithuanian Embassy in Bern met us at the Zurich airport and took to Fribourg. We stayed in a cozy hotel near university”, said G. Žaldokaitė, one of the participants of the project.

“On the very first evening the organizers of the project held a party in a student bar, which, actually, reminded more of a flat rather than a bar. As we were sipping wine and chatting, snacks were prepared and pumpkin soup was boiling. At the end of the evening, Prof. Gilbert Casasus made a brief welcoming speech”, said Gintarė.

In the morning of day two, the participants of the project, as well as the organisers met at the University ceremonial hall, the Aula, and listened to four professors lecturing on the subject of peace. Later, at the creative workshop the participants were divided into four groups (philosophy, politics, geopolitics and history) and had to analyse the concept of peace in accordance with the theme and present their insights to the audience. “I was in philosophy group and together with the lecturer and other students analysed Internal Peace by Immanuel Kant.  It was a really interesting“, G. Žaldokaitė shared her experience on the workshop.

On the third day politicians and Ministers from France and Switzerland arrived to the event. After the formal part of the event, the play about French and Swiss progress towards peace was shown.

In the evening all students gathered together at university once again and discussed peace in present day Europe. Later a meeting was held with the ambassadors to those countries that students came from. Unfortunately, none of the Lithuanian officials’ attended the meeting.

On the fourth day the participants went on a trip. “Early in the morning the coach took us to Geneva. We went to the United Nations office. It was a pleasant trip: the tour guides offered us some snacks and beverages, the day was sunny and we were admiring the mountains and the beautiful nature of Switzerland. At the United Nations office we were met by David A. Chikvaidze, the Chief of the Office of Director-General, who informed us about the current activities of the United Nations. Later that day we were offered the guided tour of the Palais, United Nations office in Geneva. I think most of us were impressed seeing the building and the rooms.

From United Nations office we departed to Lausanne, where we attended a lecture at the Jean Monnet Foundation. After return to Fribourg we gathered for the final discussions and had to decide which statements about peace and we would leave in the resolution. On the last day a small press conference was held, which aimed at presenting the results of our work”- finished the story G. Žaldokaitė.

According to the students, the agenda was busy and full of lectures and workshops, nevertheless, the students managed to find some time for relaxation in the evenings. “Local students showed us the city; we were invited to food tasting events. Although the week in Switzerland went really quick, it certainly left a lasting impression”, finalized the story G. Žaldokaitė.

We are proud of our students and encourage them to participate in social activities and share their experiences with us.