And the 2024 winners are…

Māòhi (Polynesian) climate & nuclear issue educators, Afghanistan peace bridge-builders and European ‘effective thesis’ enablers win the 2024 PACEY Awards.

Basel Peace Office is pleased to announce the three winning projects for the 2024 Peace, nuclear Abolition and Climate Engaged Youth (PACEY) Award, each of which receives a prize of €5000 plus organizational support to help in their project implementation.

The winning projects, which were chosen through ballot of the participants of the 2024 PACEY Awards Ceremony last Friday, are:

  • Educational Youth Initiative on Climate Change and Nuclear Testing, a project of Moruroa e Tātou to educate and engage youth in these issues through a series of workshops on various islands of Māòhi Nui (Polynesia);
  • Bridge Builders: Empowering Youth for Peace in Afghanistan, a project of the Afghanistan Women’s Think Tank to rekindle the peace-building spirit and activate youth participation in peacebuilding;
  • Empowering Youth for Climate Action and Peace, a project of Effective Thesis to help students choose a thesis topic or research question that could make positive impact for the world in the areas of climate change and peace, and to provide thesis coaching once the thesis topic has been chosen.

“The PACEY Award supports innovative projects which empower youth to lead transformative actions in the fields of peace, climate security and disarmament”, says Marzhan Nurzhan, Deputy-Director of Basel Peace Office and Co-founder of Youth Fusion, a global youth network for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“We received nominations of more than 70 inspiring youth projects and project proposals from around the world. The nine finalist projects which were presented at the PACEY Awards Ceremony are all inspiring examples of effective youth action. We congratulate the winning three projects, and we look forward to engaging with them to help build their success.

“Our project will build understanding of nuclear and climate consequences, raise awareness of the colonial basis of these issues in the Pacific and explore solutions,” says Tamatoa Edgard Tepuhiarii, a Māòhi PhD Scholar in Anthropolgy and team member of the Moruroa e Tātou youth project. “Our key approach is to guide youth to engage in these issues and not be mere “spectators” of injustices.”

“Winning the PACEY Award is a testament to the collective effort of our community in guiding students towards impactful research,” says Joel Christoph, Director of Effective Thesis. “This recognition not only amplifies our mission and capacity but also propels us to broaden our reach and deepen our impact in the vital areas of climate change and peace.

“Youth engagement in peace issues is especially important in Afghanistan considering that 65% of the population is under 25 years old,” says Maryam Rayed, team leader for Bridge Builders: Empowering Youth for Peace in Afghanistan. “The recent political changes in the country have elevated youth to a pivotal point.”

The PACEY Award was established by Basel Peace Office in 2020 as a €5000 award for a European Youth Project. In 2021, the City of Basel (Switzerland) joined and added a prize of €5000 for a Beyond Europe/Global Youth Project. And we are pleased that from 2023, we are joined by the Reformed Evangelical Church of Basel-Stadt with support for another award of €5000 for a second Beyond Europe/Global Youth Project, making three awards in total.

“Young people in Europe and around the world are standing up to demand policy progress on the climate crisis, nuclear abolition and ending war,” says Prof (em) Andreas Nidecker MD, founder of the PACEY Award. “They clearly see the threats to current and future generations and are taking action.”

“Peace and security are the central starting points on the path to sustainable development,” says Dr Lukas Ott (lic. phil.), Head of Canton and Urban Development, Presidential Department of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. “Peace is the foundation that something good can grow out of it. Youth-led projects and activities that promote peace, climate-protection and disarmament are more important now than ever.”

“Bridging continents, countries and religions: young people frequently realize, much faster than many grown-ups, that only through trust, an open heart and cooperation, is significant progress possible,” concludes Prof Lukas Kundert, Director of the Basel-Stadt Evangelical Reformed Church.