Youth Advocacy Team

ABOUT THE YAT

The Youth Advocacy Team (YAT) is a group of committed young peacebuilders from the UNOY network. They carry out advocacy work, representing the UNOY network, for the recognition and participation of young people in peacebuilding processes and for the protection of young people in conflict.

The main aim of the YAT is to guarantee a meaningful role for youth in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and conflict resolution, for youth and youth organisations in promoting peace and nonviolence, and mobilising youth for post-conflict reconstruction.

The main achievement of the YAT is the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250.

2016 ACTIVITIES

Strengthening the Participation of Girls and Young Women Through Resolution 2250
Hajer Sharief from the YAT and Solvi Karlsson from the UNOY Secretariat spoke at an event organized on the sidelines of the Commission of the Status of Women about the links between the Women, Peace and Security and the Youth, Peace and Security agendas. The event was co-organized by the Italian Permanent Mission to the UN, UNOY, Cordaid, GNWP, PBSO, UN Women, and UNFPA.

UN Launch of Resolution 2250
Security Council Resolution 2250 was launched at an event at the International Peace Institute on February 5, 2016. Speakers of the event included UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, as well as Kessy Ekomo and Saba Ismail from the YAT.

2015 ACTIVITIES

Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security
On 9 December 2015 the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace & Security. The historical document is the first of its kind to recognize the positive role young people play in building sustainable peace and to lay out the need for governments and other stakeholders to support young people in this role. It represents a landmark for the participation of young people involved in transforming conflict, peacebuilding and countering violence. The Youth Advocacy Team has been advocating for a Security Council Resolution on this topic since 2012. Saba Ismail from the YAT spoke at the press conference following the adoption.

The UN Peacebuilding Commission’s First Ever Meeting on Youth
Gwendolyn Myers from the YAT briefed the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and spoke at an event on the sidelines of the PBC meeting hosted by the New York Peacebuilding Group. You can access UNOY’s input for the review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture here. A series of bilateral meetings with donors and permanent missions were also held.

Young Women, Peace & Security
UNOY co-organized a side-event to the Security Council High-level Review on Resolution 1325: “Young Women, Peace & Security” together with UN Peacebuilding Support Office, The German Permanent Mission to the UN GNWP, Cordaid, UNFPA and UNDP. To read more about the mission, click here.

The Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism
The YAT attended the Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism in September, 2015 at the side-lines of the UN General Assembly. UNOY together with Search for Common Ground coordinated the writing of the outcome document, the Youth Action Agenda to Prevent Violent Extremism and Build Peace. Also see UNOY and Human Security Collective’s 10 Guiding Practices for Countering Violent Extremism form a Human Security and Young Peacebuilder’s Perspective.  To read more about the mission, click here.

World Humanitarian Summit Global Youth Consultation
Members of the YAT took part in the World Humanitarian Summit Global Youth Consultation in Doha, and worked hard to ensure strong references to youth, peace and security and to the Amman Youth Declaration in the outcome document – the Doha Youth Declaration. Diego Cimino from the YAT also functions as Youth Regional Focal Points for the World Humanitarian Summit.

The Global Forum on Youth , Peace and Security
UNOY co-organized – and several YAT members took part in  – the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security that took place in Jordan in August 2015. UNOY coordinated the writing of the outcome docuemtn – the Amman Youth Declaration (available in eight different languages).  The Forum was attended by 600 representatives of government, UN agencies, donors, non-governmental organizations and academia, as well as 200 young people. To read more about the Forum, click here.

WPAY+20 Lobbying in New York
A delegation of the YAT attended the High Level WPAY+20 Event in New York, meeting with a number of national permanent missions on the importance of considering the positive impact of youth in issues of peace and security. The team also met several UN agencies and civil society organisations for input on the UN Peaecbuilding Architecture Review, the 2015 High-level Review and Global Study of Women, Peace and Security, and CTITF’s upcoming Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism. To learn more about this mission, click here.

Lobbying mission to New York for UN Security Council debate
The YAT visited New York to lobby national permanent missions to UN on ‘the role of youth in promoting peace and countering violent extremism’, the focus of a UN Security Council debate that took place on April 23. The team also met with a number of UN agencies to give input on the current work of young people, and how international policy must be changed to support them. A side event to promote young people’s contribution was held, as well as a roundtable discussion that gave policy-makers and young peacebuilders the opportunity to meaningfully collaborate and share ideas to move forward. To learn more about this mission, click here.

2014 ACTIVITIES

UNOY at First Global Forum on Youth Policy
UNOY was invited to give a speech at the Global Forum on Youth Policy in the working group focused on youth participation in peace and security. By doing this UNOY fed into the final Baku Commitment on Youth Policy.

YAT Members speak at side event “Practices in and Reflections on Development, Security, and Peace”
Members of the YAT spoke at a side event of the biennial review of the UN Global Counter Terrorism strategy, in a panel on the role of young community leaders in fostering resilient communities organized by Human Security Collective, Cordaid and UNOY at the UN Headquarters in New York. A full report of the panel can be found here (please see pages 15-17 for a report of the panel). The panel showed the capacities of young people to be of significance in their communities by engagement in a range of activities such as journalism, local peacebuilding, human rights activism and peer to peer communication.

Lobbying mission to New York
Members of the YAT carried out a lobbying mission to New York, during which they met with Ahmad Alhendawi, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO), with the Swiss and Luxembourgish permanent missions, and with UNDP.

UNOY at the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka 2014
UNOY was invited to give a speech at the World Conference on Youth in the working group focused on youth inclusion in peace, reconciliation and ending violence. By doing this UNOY fed into the final Colombo Declaration on Youth agreed on by governments present.

During the conference UNOY together with UN-Habitat and Search for Common Ground hosted a launch of the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding.

Global Partnership on Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Invited by the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and in close cooperation with UNHabitat, we wrote the Peace & Security section of the Global Call on Youth focusing on how youth should be included in the new Post-2015 agenda.

YAT Members visit Iraqi Kurdistan
In discussions with President Barzani, with the speaker of the regional parliament and other high level policy makers, members of the Youth Advocacy Team plead for Kurdish policy makers to put youth central when building a stronger region.

2013 ACTIVITIES

Lobbying missions to New York
The YAT carried out two week-long lobbying mission to the UN Headquarters in New York including. During the missions they met with 27 Permanent Missions and with the UN Focal Point on Youth, UN Habitat, UN Women, Peacebuilding Support Office, UN Alliance of Civilization, UNDP and Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) Sub-working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding to discuss ways, including a Security Council Resolution, the youth resolution in the 3rd committee and the Post-2015 framework, to strengthen the role of youth in peacebuilding in the UN system. The team developed a concept note on youth participation in peacebuilding.

The World We Desire: UNOY’s Post-2015 MDG-Consultation
The YAT carried out a consultation on the Post-2015 agenda in the UNOY network including 116 participants from 25 countries which resulted in the report “A Space for Peace: Inclusion of Youth and Peacebuilding in the Post-2015 Development Agenda”. The report was launched at an event hosted by the YAT together with the Permanent Mission of Argentina at the UN Headquarters in New York. The launch was attended by over 60 participants from permanent missions, UN entities and civil society and live-streamed on UN web-TV. The deputy head of the Argentinian mission stressed his gratitude to UNOY for bringing a youth voice on peacebuilding into the discussions on the Post-2015 framework.

Agreed Language on Youth, Peace and Security
The report Agreed Language on Youth, Peace and Security analyzes agreed language in the UN General Assembly and Security Council on youth and peacebuilding. It brings together UN agreed language with real examples of the work young people globally are already doing as peacebuilders. It was written by the UNOY Secretariat in collaboration with Saji Prelis and Ravi Karkara. The report was launched at a meeting of the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) Sub-working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding.

Event: Youth and Peacebuilding in the Post-2015 Agenda – Including Youth as Positive Agents of Change
UNOY together with Save the Children hosted an event to raise awareness about the importance of meaningful youth participation in all levels of peacebuilding processes and to link this discussion to the Post 2015-Agenda.

Advocacy and Lobbying Training in The Hague
The week‐long training in the Netherlands, combined training sessions on advocacy, campaigning, and lobbying, with lectures and meetings with different relevant organizations and institutions based in The Hague, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also constituted an opportunity for team building within the YAT. The eight members had the chance to get to know each other face-to-face, exchange ideas, reflect on their work, and plan their advocacy strategy, design a campaign and prepare for the lobbying work.