On 9 December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted the Resolution 2250, the very first resolution on Youth, Peace and Security, urging Member States to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels. Are young African Peacebuilders aware of its substance, are they using it to structure their work? How can it improve their impact towards building more peaceful African societies?
Some highlights on the UN Security Council Resolution 2250
The UNSCR 2250 (2015) is a document focused on practice and concerted action in peacebuilding, advocating a perfect synergy between actors and including young people at all levels, from strategic matrix to action development. It urges Member States to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes. To do this, five key pillars are identified and defined for action: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement and reintegration.
To insure an empirical approach for an effective implementation of that Resolution, the Security Council also requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to carry out a study on young people’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, and urges Member States to “increase, as appropriate, their political, financial, technical and logistical support, that take account of the needs and participation of youth in peace efforts, in conflict and post-conflict situations, including those undertaken by relevant entities, funds and programmes, and other relevant bodies (…) and actors at regional and international levels”. This Progress Study’s development started through a uniquely participatory research process, including face-to-face discussions (focus group discussions, regional and national consultations) with a total of 4,230 young people, as well as research in 27 countries, surveys and mapping exercises. All the resources about the Progress Study entitled “The Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security”, along with all the related resources can be found here.
The UNSC Resolution 2250 implementation’s framework
The UNSCR 2282 (2016) on the Review of the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture refers explicitly to UNSCR 2250, reaffirming “the important role youth can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and as a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts”, and calling upon “Member States and relevant United Nations organs and entities to consider ways to increase meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in peacebuilding efforts (…)”.
In that line, all the news and resources on the implementation of the UNSCR 2250 are available on the Youth4Peace Global Knowledge Portal. It is a multi-stakeholder partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), Search for Common Ground (SfCG) and the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), working together through the inter-agency Working Group on Youth & Peacebuilding. The Youth4Peace platform was launched in 2016 to promote and support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. It is hosted by UNDP Youth-GPS with support from the Oslo Governance Centre.
Additionally, given the importance of that historic document which brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace worldwide, the UNOY has prepared a Toolkit to accompany young peacebuilders in their actions, making it simple to use the UNSCR 2250 with illustrations. The UNOY’s Toolkit last updated in April 2019 and also available in Spanish (Descarga aquí la versión española), is meant to help youth better understand the importance and content of the resolution and advocate for its implementation on their respective communities and countries.
Towards action and dialogue
Ultimately, there are many ways for young people to get involve in peacebuilding action and dialogue. As a young peacebuilder or aspiring one, you can take action in your community following the framework, the toolkit and other resources. You can also join various thematic groups on internet and social networks. You can join the Youth4Peace Community by registering directly on the Portal, join on Facebook the UNOY group dedicated to sharing youth-led and youth-focused efforts on the topic named Youth, Peace & Security, or the other one dedicated to dialogue and exchange of information and resources pertaining to how young people are actively involved in preventing and mitigating drivers that lead to violent extremism named Youth Transforming Violent Extremism.