We are the European Youth Advocacy team (E-YAT), a group of 20 young peacebuilders working together to strengthen youth participation in European policy and practice. Our group was set up in March 2016 at a Training of Advocates organised by UNOY Peacebuilders, in response to a need to advocate for the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (UNSCR 2250) at a regional level.
The main goals and objectives of the E-YAT are to:
- Advocate for the recognition of the positive role of young people in building peace and preventing violent extremism by policy makers at European institutions – the European Union and Council of Europe in particular – as well as their counterparts working at national state levels
- Ensure that the voices and needs of young peacebuilders are reflected in European policies and programmes on peace and security
- Raise public and political awareness of the UNSCR 2250 to mobilise more support for youth-led peacebuilding
- Advocate for the operationalisation of UNSCR 2250 by European institutions and governments, including strengthened youth participation in decision making at all levels and the creation of youth-accessible funding mechanisms for 2250 implementation.
UNOY Training of Advocates 2017
The 2017 Training of Advocates took place in Brussels from 7 to 14 April 2017. The training aimed to help young peacebuilders sharpen their understanding of the European political environment on the youth, peace and security agenda, build the advocacy skills of the participants to engage in dialogue with policy makers, and to connect with other young peacebuilders coming from diverse backgrounds.
Youth Advocacy Manual for 2250 Implementation
The E-YAT has captured its experiences and learning in a youth advocacy manual that will be integrated into UNOY’s 2250 toolkit. The manual will offer practical tools and inspiration to young people who are interested in advocating for youth, peace and security issues.
International Peace Day
From 1 to 21 September 2016, the E-YAT participated in a Peace Day Challenge initiated by USIP. We shared a series of 21 messages highlighting the positive role of youth in building sustainable peace, in a countdown to International Peace Day. Our posts reached a total of 22,336 people on Twitter and Facebook.
Advocacy Mission to the Council of Europe
In October 2016 the E-YAT carried out its first advocacy mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The main goal of this mission was to
raise awareness on UNSCR 2250 and promote its implementation on the European level. We observed the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly at the Council of Europe, gave an intervention at a political group, and held side meetings with 12 representatives
of the Council of Europe.
Advocacy Mission to the European Union
The mission to the European Union in Brussels took place from the end of November to early December 2016. The purpose of the mission was to meet relevant members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, as well as relevant civil society representatives in order to advocate for the implementation of UNSCR 2250.