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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Posts with tag: max hill

August 12, 2014

International Youth Day 2014

By Max Hill

20% of world's youth experience a mental health conditionToday is International Youth Day 2014. The purpose this day is to raise awareness for youth living with mental health issues. The United Nations says the reason for this being the focus of this International Youth Day this year is, “Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labeled’.”

I see this issue as one that hits close to home for me. Growing up I had (and still have) many friends that live with mental ...

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August 5, 2014

First Presbyterian Church Albuquerque learns about child soldiers

by Max Hill

First Presbyterian Church Albuquerque group at the Isaiah WallOn July 15, I had the pleasure of leading a discussion for our guests from First Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque. This discussion focused on the issue of the recruitment and use of children as soldiers around the world. The group’s initial thoughts on what a child soldier looked like were not unexpected. The group, for the most part, agreed that when they thought of a child being used as a soldier, they thought of a boy around fifteen or sixteen years old with a gun. This definition gave me a great jumping off point with the ...

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July 8, 2014

Progress made, work to do, on children in armed conflict

by Max Hill

No child soldiers red handsLast week the Secretary-General released the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict. This report summarized all of the progress that has been made in terms of reducing the amount of children involved in situations of armed conflict, as well as highlighted areas where work still needs to be done. UN Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, stated that there are 23 situations around the world in which children are being used in armed conflict in some way.

The annual report named some specific groups and areas where clear violations of children’s rights ...

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July 7, 2014

Be our media

by Max Hill

Group shot of four students and colleaguesOn 1 July 2014, I attended a meeting with four students from Bethlehem University (BU), a Catholic university founded in 1973, in Palestine. Our partner NGO Caritas Internationalis arranged the meeting for members of the Israel-Palestine NGO Working Group.

The four students were all very personable and had many positive things to say about their experiences both at the university and their time here in the United States. All four are here as a part of BU’s ambassador program and are participating in 6-week internships arranged through Caritas and its partners

To kick off the meeting ...

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June 4, 2014

Children, Not Soldiers

by Max Hill

Ricky Velez-Negron ChildrenNotSoldiersIn March, the United Nations and UNICEF launched an initiative to end the use of children as security forces by governments. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui launched the initiative. This campaign is known as Children, Not Soldiers.

This initiative is a call to action that highlights the importance of allowing all children of the world to have the chance to grow up without being recruited and used as soldiers. In his announcement of the initiative, the Secretary-General stated, “children should be armed with pens and textbooks, not guns ...

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June 3, 2014

I am a #HeForShe and it is #TimeToAct

UN Meeting Picutre

 

Ryan Smith, Max Hill and Catherine Warren

By Max Hill

Today I attended an event on ending sexual violence against women in conflict. The event was held at the United Nations and announced the launch of the #HeforShe video campaign. Speakers at the event included: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director for UN Women, Zainab Bangura, Special Representative on Sexual Violence, and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, UK Permanent Representative to the UN.

The United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations (in partnership with UN Women) organized the campaign. Speaking at the event, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it is “time ...

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June 3, 2014

Max Hill - summer intern 2014

by Max Hill

Max Hill outside UN SecretariatMy name is Max Hill. I am from Little Rock, Arkansas. I am a rising senior at the University of Arkansas, where I am studying public relations and political science. I am a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as an active member and current president at my campus ministry, United Campus Ministry at the University of Arkansas. This summer I have the pleasure of serving as an intern at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. I am very excited to get to spend my summer in New York City, a ...

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