While a UN Security Council resolution on Youth, Peace and Security is important, it is meaningless unless other stakeholders take up the call and translate it into real policies.
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On 9 December 2015 the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. This is great news for young peacebuilders around the world, but a UN Security Council Resolution is not in itself a solution for the exclusion and underrepresentation of young people in peace processes. Now the calls made in the resolution have to be translated into reality. As youth, we have to ensure that governments, intergovernmental bodies and members of the civil society work together to implement the articles present in the resolution.
Here are four things that we need to work on next:
- National and local partnerships: A global policy document is only a piece of paper until it is translated into implementation at the local and national levels. Resolution 2250 calls for “increasing representation of youth in decision-making at all levels”. This can only happen through real and meaningful partnership between youth, local and national authorities and other stakeholders. These different actors need to come together and make a joint effort to implement UNSC resolution 2250.
- Rethinking old policies: Most governments have policies on peace and security in place which do not take the needs and the role of youth into account. Counter-terrorism efforts in particular have often led to the exclusion and alienation of young people and in doing so done more harm than good, creating new insecurities. These policies have to be reversed and rethought on the basis of resolution 2250.
- Funding: For youth to be able to actively and meaningfully participate in building peace, they need to be able to link up with each other and create joint initiatives. This is only possible if appropriate resources are made available to young people and youth groups. Donors need to rethink their strategies and ensure that they use their funds in an efficient manner, investing in youth initiatives for peace.
- Redouble our peacebuilding efforts: The increased international recognition that a UN Security Council Resolution brings to youth in peacebuilding is important. At the same time, we have to show the world that this recognition is well deserved. Let’s take this moment as encouragement, as an opportunity to work even harder and to bring even more youth on board to build peace in our communities.
While a UN Security Council resolution is important, it is meaningless unless other stakeholders take up the call and translate it into real policies. A lot of work remains to be done.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of TransConflict.