In 2015, there were about 1.8 billion young people worldwide between the ages of 10 and 24. Of these 1.8 billion people, one out of six were between 15 to 24 years. Yet, despite their numbers the majority of young people are subject to exclusion and marginalization from mainstream political, economic and social platforms. With this in mind, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) in December 2015, aiming at emphasizing the positive role of youth in the promotion of international peace and security.
Within the framework of the resolution, the Secretary-General has to carry out a ‘Progress Study’ on the positive contributions of youth to peace processes and conflict resolution in order to recommend effective response at local, national, regional and international levels, and to present the results to UN Member States. This document is very important for all young peacebuilders to have the opportunity to make their voices heard, contribute to the discussions on peace and security issues in their communities, and suggest suitable solutions to the UN.
The UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) contributed to a continued focus on the YPS agenda by hosting an expert-level meeting on 15 June 2017 to discuss how to make young people participate in peace processes in their communities and beyond, and how to sustain their efforts in building peace.
The participants at the meeting were briefed by Mr. Graeme Simpson, Lead Author for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by UNSC Resolution 2250 and by Mr. Solvi Karisson, Lead Coordinator for the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), who addressed them via skype from The Hague. Mr. provided information about UNOY, a network of youth-led peace organisations working at the national, regional and international levels. The UNOY is involved in the ‘Progress Study’ and its members are working in 50 countries around the world. This kind of youth-led organizations can create platforms of common values to work with local communities towards peace and security. The floor encouraged these initiatives and discussed how to promote youth, empower youth peacebuilding organisations, and bring the voices of young peacebuilders to the attention of the main international policy-makers.
Read the complete report on the meeting here.
This update was written by Anne-Laure Méar.