2250: A youth toolkit

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In December 2015 the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2250, the first ever thematic resolution on Youth, Peace and Security. This historic document is very important for all young peacebuilders worldwide because it brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace.

On this page, we have gathered some useful documents and ideas into a toolkit to help you better understand the importance and content of the resolution and advocate for its implementation on your community and country. The toolkit is divided into three sections: Know the resolution, take action, and document templates.

The toolkit has also been translated to Spanish. Descarga aquí la versión española

In addition to the toolkit itself, why not join our Youth, Peace and Security group on Facebook? It’s a place to share experiences, get advice and connect with other people who are also working on resolution 2250.

Know the resolution

To use UN Security Council resolution 2250, you first have to know it. Below you can find the resolution itself, a general guide to the resolution, and a more in-depth annotated version describing the meaning of each paragraph. We have also collected a few other key documents to help you understand the wider arena of youth, peace and security.

Resolution 2250

The resolution itself:  Read the full text of the resolution here.

Guide to 2250:  Everything you need to know about 2250 in one place: what does the resolution say? why does it matter? what can you do with it?

2250 explained:  For a more in-depth explanation of the resolution and what it means, read the annotated version.

Other key documents

Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding: A nine step recipe to include young people in peace processes.

Agreed UN Language on youth participation in peacebuilding: A report by UNOY on the language used by the Security Council on Youth between 1995-2013.

UN Plan of Action Against Violent Extremism: Plan developed by the UN Secretary-General, which includes a section on youth empowerment.

Action Agenda to Prevent Violent Extremism and Promote Peace: Outcome document of the Global Youth Summit against Violent Extremism, this document approaches youth participation in countering and preventing violent extremism.

Amman Youth Declaration: Outcome document of the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, this declaration is a roadmap towards a strengthened policy framework on Youth, Peace and Security.

Take action

Even though member states are responsible for implementing the resolution at the national level, there are many ways in which young people and civil society organizations can take part in this process, from leading it to cooperating with other stakeholders on the local, national, regional and global levels. You and your organization might choose how to use the resolution based on your capabilities and competences, and on the needs found on the ground. For this reason, it is important to contextualize your efforts: know the challenges and needs of young men and women in your community and country!

Here are a few examples of actions you can take:

Spread the word

Spread the word!

People must know what resolution 2250 is, what it says, and why it matters so they can use it. So, spread the word to make sure that as many people as possible know about 2250.  In order to do so, you can:

  • introduce the resolution to the members of your organization, activists, colleagues etc;
  • attend events relevant to the topic of youth, peace and security and mention the resolution during panel discussion, debates, networking sessions etc;
  • write a blog post for your blog or a partner’s blog on the topic;
  • create  and share content in the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) using the hashtags #Youth4Peace and #SCR2250;
  • share the content of this Toolkit with your organization, partners and network;

Advocate

Advocate

You might want to go further and create an advocacy strategy around resolution 2250. Advocating for a cause means bringing it to people’s attention so it will gain support and be addressed by policy-makers and other relevant actors. That will require a little more strategic planning than simply mentioning the document and sharing it on the social media. There are a few steps you can follow to start your advocacy campaign:

  • brainstorm with your organization and partners what kind of message you would like to advocate for (you can use one specific action area of the resolution or the document as a whole, for instance);
  • select the partners you would like to involve in this campaign (youth-led and youth-focused NGOs, youth clubs and councils, peace organizations, UN agencies etc.) and the target group;
    UNOY has good partnerships with Search for Common Ground, World Vision, Mercy Corps as well as UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women. If you need help in reaching out to any of these organizations, contact us on advocacy@unoy.org.
  • create content for social media and blogs – don’t forget to use #Youth4Peace and #SCR2250);
  • organize workshops and training on the resolution (feel free to use the content of this toolkit to support you in this, such as the power-point presentation);
  • contact the local media (newspapers, television channels etc.).

Lobby

Lobby

Lobbying is a way of doing advocacy, except it targets policy-makers. Then again, you will need to be strategic and make a plan in order to make an impact. A good way to start is:

  • review policies and national plans in the field and peace and security (countering violent extremism, gender equality, youth policies etc.) and check the language used on youth. You can go even further and draft recommendations for those documents to introduce an inclusive language on youth and reference resolution 2250;  
  • send policy-makers an e-mail (template available at unoy.org/2250-toolkit) bringing to their attention the importance of implementing the resolution in your country. Make sure you select people who showed previous interest and commitment to the cause;
  • if possible, schedule a meeting with a policy-maker to discuss the issue in more depth. It is important to be prepared! Have a 2 minutes pitch prepared on why this is important and how that specific person can contribute. After the meeting, make sure to send an e-mail thanking them for their time and to follow-up on the commitments made.

Build partnerships

Build partnerships

Resolution 2250 portrays youth as partners in preventing violence, countering violent extremism and building peace. So it is time to engage with other stakeholders in order to make a greater impact. Some actions might include:

  • map the relevant actors in the peace and security field in your country and community; such as Ministries, Youth Councils, UN agencies, faith-based groups, etc;
  • think of how both parties can contribute in a possible partnership: you might know a lot about the local context and be able to engage young people, while the other part might have capacities or funds that you don’t possess;
  • reach out to those actors and find out how you can collaborate. Be open to discuss different ways of contributing instead of having a “I want/need this from you” approach.

National launch

Organize a national launch of the resolution

Organizing a launch of the resolution on the national level is a good way to raise awareness on the topic and mobilize relevant stakeholders. The checklist below will assist you in the organization of this event:

1: Start brainstorming!

  • What type of event will work best in your country to spread the message of UNSCR 2250? A press conference, a panel discussion, a forum…?
  • Where will you host it? How will you get the word out?
  • Who will you invite (government officials, youth activists, Civil society organizations…)?
  • Who will be the speakers (make sure it is a diverse and inclusive team)?
  • What is your budget? How will you raise the funds for the event?
  • Important: make sure your event is strategic and fun!
  • Ask friends, colleagues, or partner organisations to help promote your event.

2: Build a team!

  • Reach out to youth groups, charities, schools, or media to partner with in the event and try to be as much inclusive as possible!
  • In some cases, we can help connect you with organisations on the ground. Contact us: advocacy@unoy.org.

3: Let us know!

  • You might inspire others to do the same, so let us know about your launch and we will share it on our social media. Feel free to send photos, videos and stories!
  • inform UNOY (advocacy@unoy.org) about the event, so that we can share info about it through our communication channels!
  • Share photos, videos, and stories of what you’re doing leading up to and on the day of your event by including #SCR2250 and #youth4peace

TIP: Reserve a time and space in your program for local young peacebuilders to showcase their work. In the end of the event, the participants can elect the winner of the Young Peacebuilder Award. This will bring recognition for the positive role young people play in the community.

TIP: Prepare a press release with 5-10 priority action points from the local youth to the government, international agencies and civil society organizations.

Other activities that can be carried out in parallel to the national launch or individually:

  • National consultation:  In order to find out what are the most pressing issues and challenges for the youth in your country, organize an online consultation. Share it among young people, policy-makers, activist, CSOs, networks/alliances, academicians etc. The results can be used to support your advocacy work (both campaign and lobbying);
  • Meetings at local levels: Create spaces (or build on existing ones) for young people from your community to talk to inspiring and influential speakers. Invite community members, fellow advocates and decision-makers. The idea is to exchange experiences, share best and worst practices and bridge the different stakeholders;
  • Artistic Interventions: Organize an artistic intervention where you & others can draw or write creatively about the resolution, exploring the content and the importance of UNSCR 2250. It can include drawing, painting, dancing, staging a play, doing a flashmob, composing a song… be creative and don’t forget to share in the social media using the hashtags #youth4peace and #SCR2250.

Mobilize resources

Mobilize resources

Many nonprofit and youth organizations struggle to implement their activities due to the lack of resources, especially financial. Resolution 2250 can be an important tool to mobilize resources as it provides recognition and legitimacy to young people’s  efforts in peacebuilding. Therefore, you can:

  • refer to the resolution when applying for funding – mention how the Security Council urges states to build on youth’s capacities to act as agents of positive change;
  • ask for technical support to implement your project – that might include developing competencies your organization does not possess;

BE AWARE!

When you take action on Resolution 2250, remember to…

  • Be creative: young people often represent innovation, energy, motivation and commitment. For that reason, you can let your imagination flow and be very creative when preparing activities. Think outside the box!
  • Be inclusive: youth comprises a wide variety of national, racial-ethnic, socio-economic,  cultural and religious backgrounds. Be inclusive, respectful and sensitive when talking, working, and collaborating with young people.

Document templates

In addition to using Resolution 2250 itself, and the explanatory documents provided above, here are a few documents you can use as templates for your own activities:

  • Letter to decision makers – Use this letter to write to policy makers in your country, for example parliamentarians or ministers. Remember that it’s just a template, you should adjust it as needed for your own context. Note that it is a Google Document. To create your own letter, click on File and select either Download as or Make a copy.
  • Presentation on 2250 – Use this presentation to explain 2250. Note that it is a Google Document, and that it’s a very long presentation. You will probably want to select a few of the slides to use in your presentation, rather than use the entire document. To create your own presentation, click on File and select either Download as or Make a copy.

Contributors

The following people contributed to this toolkit: Matilda Flemming, Ludmila Dias Andrade, Andrea Curcio, Iram Parveen, Miraji Hassan Mohamed, Romeral Ortiz Quintilla.