11 June 2023, Nairobi. – On June 7, 2023, the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) held its annual meeting on Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS). This gathering focused on regional efforts to advance the YPS agenda and the interconnectedness between international, regional, national, and local initiatives.
The support of local governments is crucial for the success of the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda for several reasons. Firstly, they are closer to communities: local governments have a better understanding of the needs and challenges faced by young people in their communities. They can provide targeted support and resources that are tailored to the specific needs of young people. Municipal governments have the power to implement policies and programs that promote youth participation, inclusion, and empowerment. They can also create safe spaces for young people to engage in dialogue and contribute to peacebuilding efforts. Moreover, municipalities can pioneer local resource mobilization and foster partnerships that are close to the constituencies for a timely and most effective response.
At the annual meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission on YPS, various key figures, including the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the African Union Youth Envoy, representatives from the League of Arab States and the ASEAN Youth Organization, as well as the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, shared their insights during the meeting. In light of this event and the ongoing commitment to the YPS agenda, the PBC released a press statement highlighting their stance and recommendations.
Recognizing the Role of Young People
The PBC emphasizes the vital role of young people as agents of positive change and advocates for their full, effective, and meaningful participation in peacebuilding efforts at all levels. By acknowledging their potential and contributions, the PBC encourages the continued support and engagement of youth and youth organizations worldwide. This support extends to regional and subregional organizations, Member States, and civil society organizations that have been actively working to advance the YPS agenda.
Promoting Contextualized Approaches and Partnerships
To ensure successful implementation, the PBC reiterates the importance of adopting contextualized approaches that facilitate the meaningful engagement of young people in peacebuilding processes. It also underscores the significance of developing and implementing regional and national YPS frameworks tailored to the specific needs and aspirations of different communities. Moreover, the PBC recognizes the diverse demographics and geographic variations within youth cohorts, emphasizing the need to address these differences when formulating inclusive strategies.
Ensuring Protection and Empowerment
The PBC calls for continued efforts to safeguard the safety and well-being of young individuals engaged in peacebuilding activities. Creating an enabling and secure environment for their participation is crucial. The provision of education, capacity-building programs, and the creation of employment opportunities are essential elements in empowering young peacebuilders. By investing in their development, societies can unlock the full potential of youth and contribute to sustainable peace.
Mobilizing Sustainable Financing
The PBC highlights the necessity for adequate, predictable, and sustainable financing to support youth-led peacebuilding initiatives. Recognizing the innovative approaches and resilience of young people, the PBC urges governments, international organizations, and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in youth-driven projects. Such investments not only yield positive outcomes for communities but also contribute to long-term peace and stability.
Strengthening Implementation and Follow-up
Underlining the importance of the YPS agenda, the PBC emphasizes the need for diligent implementation and consistent follow-up on related decisions and proposed activities. To achieve this, the PBC advises the Security Council, General Assembly, and the Economic and Social Council to take appropriate action. By maintaining momentum and focus, global institutions can ensure that the YPS agenda remains at the forefront of peacebuilding efforts.
The PBC’s annual meeting on Youth, Peace, and Security serves as a testament to the growing recognition of young people’s role in shaping peaceful societies. By reaffirming their commitment to the YPS agenda and promoting collaboration among key stakeholders, the PBC aims to amplify the impact of youth-led initiatives worldwide. As we move forward, it is essential for governments, organizations, and communities to unite in their efforts to support, protect, and empower young peacebuilders. Together, we can build a more inclusive and peaceful future for all.