During the NATO 2010 Summit in Lisbon, Portugal (November 17-22), several Trans-Atlantic organizations summoned young leaders from around the world to hold their parallel summit a few feet away from their senior leaders, and to challenge their elders with questions relevant to our generation. Victor Ochen (Uganda) and I (Belgium/U.S.A.) were fortunate to participate in the youth summit.
While officials were deciding the shape and function of NATO for the next decade, Ochen brought to the youth summit points about his home country and continent that were not only thought-provoking, but crucial. Africa matters for all regions surrounding the Atlantic Ocean, not just NATO members, from both security and, simply, human standpoints.
I asked Ochen to expand on his messages (video below). He did so in a genuine manner full of simple truth you won’t want to miss.
The interview took place on November 20, 2010.
Victor Ochen is the director of the African Youth Initiative Network, or AYINET, which works with victims of Uganda's enduring war. AYINET delivers life-saving health assistance and helps to promote tolerance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and development. AYINET strongly believes that justice for the victims is necessary to prevent new atrocities in the future.
Ochen spent 20 of his 28 years living in war-torn Uganda. His family and community were destroyed by the infamous Lord's Resistance Army. Read more about Victor's struggles here.
Published December 14, 2010
frontispiece: Lord's Resistance Army child soldiers, The GuardianAfrica, Barack Obama, NATO