Peace is a high and lofty goal. It cannot be completely achieved without the total agreement and commitment of all people. The beginnings of peace arise from those take this goal into their own hands; those who attempt what is often referred to as impossible. They put their soul into this aspiration and work with tremendous effort to create peace.
It is our aim to create everlasting peace. However, some attempts at peace only reach adults. Yet without children’s support, how can we carry on the peace? Children are the future of peace. They will continue peace and help it grow.
This is exactly what Gerson Andrés Flórez Pérez believes. He believes children have a huge role in peace, that they have a voice. Yet to Gerson this voice was going unheard. At age eleven an event occurred that created a complete change in his life. This event was the viewing of the televised news of a young girl being killed in the explosion of an anti-personal landmine. A few days later, the episode was repeated in a nearby village. These events touched Gerson in an amazing way.
“These events overflooded my sense of humanity. Yes, in the deepest of my being, a great challenge set root; a challenge which in that moment perhaps only was nostalgia, but which day by day turned into my most important objective - the objective which I fight for today. An objective liberated from peace rhetoric, but filled with humbleness and novelty provided by God, who has always guided me.”
Gerson began to work to fulfill this challenge, to get his voice and the voice of his peers heard. In 1998 he wrote a peaceful proposal in direct words which he believed mirrored the opinions of many other children. This proposal was called "Children of Peace."
After presenting “Children of Peace” to the media, 2,700,000 children from all over Colombia voted in a referendum and insisted that their basic and essential rights be respected. This act was named the “Children’s Movement for Peace”. As Gerson expected, the children’s voice had a huge effect. Soon after this vote, 10,000,000 adults also voted and demanded peace in Colombia.
Gerson Andrés Flórez Pérez has already been nominated once for the Nobel Peace Prize. The movement he created among the children of Colombia works for peace and eradicating anti-personal landmines. Yet many of the adults who supported Gerson became caught up in winning this prize. When Gerson went to Europe, only five children went along for the journey, with the majority being adults. The ones who had done all the work had been discriminated against. However, they ignored this fact and continued working for their real cause. They knew what they were doing, and they were experiencing it first hand.
In 1999 Gerson won the Global Youth Award for Peace and Tolerance. His voice, as well as the children’s of Colombia was being heard across the world.
Gerson Andrés Flórez Pérez has an intense commitment to peace. It is now time for him to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He has motivated 2,700,000 children to speak up for the goal of peace and work together in the Children’s Movement for Peace. He has united not only the children of Colombia, but the adults as well. The children’s voice is being heard not only in Colombia, but throughout the world. Consequently, the presence of a child’s voice for peace throughout the world has begun to inspire other children to make their voices heard. Gerson Andrés Flórez Pérez has created a movement where the world’s future can be involved in the active process of peacemaking. Listen to the uprising voices. Listen to mine. Gerson Andres Florez Perez is a role model for all the world’s children and even adults. He is a hero, a leader, an inspiration. Presenting Gerson with the Nobel Peace Prize would be continuing the voice of the children. The voice of the future of peace.