Rover Peace Baton tours across Asia-Pacific
Scouts creatively initiate ways to strengthen its position for peace and harmonious relationships in a massive and regional scale.
Powered by the belief that peace is achievable, all 25 member countries of WOSM in the Asia Pacific Region have taken the monumental step to introduce, for the first time, the APR Peace Baton relay on a massive and regional scale.
The Peace Baton is one of the key projects to highlight the golden anniversary of Scouting in the Asia Pacific as a commemoration of its establishment as a regional organization in 1956. Its primary goal is to raise public awareness on the importance of peace in the lives and future of today’s young people.
The Peace Baton embarked on four distinctive routes, all starting simultaneously in August 2006. Countries of origin are Fiji, Pakistan, Mongolia and Japan. Apart from these major routes, a small route started from Maldives, then to Sri Lanka, ending in India, eventually meeting the baton from Pakistan.
The four pieces of the baton is touring 25 countries of the region for a timeline of 7 months, and will end in Manila where the Asia Pacific Regional office of WOSM is located. The arrival is set for 22 February 2007 in time for the birthday of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of Scouting.
In every country, the main feature is conveying the message of peace while involving Scouting partners and a wide sector of the society. Media support is vital for increasing public awareness on the young people’s urgent appeal for peace. As the baton journeyed to Fiji, it received an official welcome from headquarter commissioners led by Chief Commissioner Chandra Shekhar. The baton was brought to the Government House where it was ceremoniously handed over to Chief Scout and President of the Republic of Fiji HE Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu. Then it was transported to Suva headquarters and turned over to Jone Naisau, the baton coordinator in Fiji, who will then pass on the baton to New Zealand.
In Maldives, Chief Scout and President of the Republic HE Maumoon Abdul Gayoom inaugurated the launch of the baton relay. He said, “Scouts must continue to create activities and projects that promote peace and solidarity”, which is also one of his government priorities. After the launch, the baton was carried across the atolls to be turned over to Sri Lanka in September.
In Pakistan, the capital city Islamabad was the starting point and was carried over to the other parts of the country before it goes to India. Secretary General of Pakistan Boy Scouts Association Col. Ali Shah believed that the message behind the relay was visibly conveyed with the large participation of young people in their campaign.
Seeing the young people on the streets, walking side by side with people from various walks of life, is an affirmation that peace is a great aspiation.