Aberystwyth students take peace message to the Nobel Institute

18 May 2022

Students from Aberystwyth University are at the Nobel Institute in Norway today, Wednesday 18 Mai, for the publication of Urdd Gobaith Cymru’s Peace and Goodwill Message on its 100th anniversary.

The theme of this year’s message is the climate emergency. It was created with input from Aberystwyth University students during a series of workshops with guest speakers from organisations, such as Friends of the Earth and Force of Nature, towards the end of 2021.

As part of the work the students discussed their concerns and complaints about the climate emergency and there was an opportunity to discuss ideas with students from the Norwegian Institute of Life Sciences.

Following the workshops, they recorded a series of personal climate emergency promises which include travelling less, buying local produce, making better use of makeup, avoiding fast fashion, and campaigning on environmental issues. The individual pledges (in Welsh) can be viewed here.

This year’s Peace and Goodwill Message is in the form of a short film and has been translated into 100 languages, reflecting the Urdd’s centenary celebrations. The English version can be viewed here.

The message has been published on the Urdd’s social channels and everyone is invited to share it and use the hashtag #Heddwch100 #Peace100.

As part of the announcement, a launch reception is being held at the Nobel Institute in Norway in the company of students from Aberystwyth and the Norwegian Institute of Life Sciences, the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Siân Lewis, Chief Executive of the Urdd, and Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University.

Professor Treasure said: “We are very proud to support the Urdd's Centenary Message of Peace and Goodwill and the central role that our students here at Aberystwyth have played in developing it.

“Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our planet, and our students' personal commitment to reducing their carbon footprint is a source of inspiration to us all. Their message also reflects a proud tradition of research and teaching excellence here at Aberystwyth in areas that can make a real difference in tackling the climate crisis. That work includes developing solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop vital food sources that are resilient to withstand its effects.

“Our commitment extends to our own activities as well, as we work towards a zero-carbon estate by 2030.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The Nobel Peace Centre is the ideal location for the Urdd to share the centenary peace message with the world.

“At a time when the peace of the world is in such peril, the message, and work of the Urdd in welcoming refugees to Wales have never been more significant.

“The theme of the climate emergency, too, will resonate with young people from around the globe as we work together to protect the fragile planet which we inhabit together”.

The first Urdd Peace and Goodwill Message was published on 18 May 1922 and has been published every year since then.

Siân Lewis, the Urdd’s Chief Executive, said: “Sharing the Urdd’s peace message in the Nobel Peace Centre is very fitting for a century old peace message and being in such a significant place really is giving the voice of the youth of Wales the platform it deserves to be heard right across the globe.

“As an organisation, we have a duty to the next generation to use this platform to amplify their voices, because giving a voice to the young people of Wales is at the core of everything the Urdd does. We cannot ignore nor postpone the climate emergency, for the sake of our children and our children’s children everyone must act now, it really is ‘time to wake up’.”