UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, adopted in December 2015, requested the UN Secretary-General “to carry out a Progress Study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution.” The Progress Study was conducted as an independent, evidence-based and participatory research process, giving 4,230 young people across the world the opportunity to contribute to the discussions on the main peace and security issues facing their communities. Below is a thought-provoking piece by Ali Altiok, written on the occasion of the publication of ‘Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security‘ in 6 official languages of the UN.
Since the United Nations Secretary General introduced his Plan of Action to prevent violent extremism (PVE), in 2016, numerous UN entities, from UNESCO to UNDP, have gone into overdrive to produce countless reports and develop programs on PVE to demonstrate their dedication to this “new agenda”. Regional organizations, such as the European Union and the African Union, all showed their political and financial commitments to this arguably new agenda. Numerous national governments have already developed national action plans on the prevention of violent extremism. Even key non-governmental peacebuilding organizations who work with or are run by young people, welcomed this new policy agenda and started to work in the field of PVE as well. While all these actors work for the PVE policy agenda, almost all of them also endorse the Youth, Peace and Security agenda (YPS), born through the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 in 2015.
This is not a surprise considering that both the PVE and the YPS emphasize the importance of youth empowerment. At the same time, we need to see the qualitative differences in the way these two fields approach youth empowerment. While the PVE agenda supports empowerment programs where young people to take a more active role in the prevention of violent extremism, the YPS agenda promotes youth empowerment in the context of fostering social inclusion and increasing youth participation in peacebuilding. Continue reading “Youth, Peace and Security: The New Kid on the Block”