In December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. The resolution was the first to recognise the important role young people can play in preventing conflicts, and sustaining peace. Conciliation Resources was invited by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to contribute to the Progress Report on UNSCR 2250. Between July and September 2017, we conducted participatory research with 494 young people living in Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, South Sudan, the Georgian-Abkhaz context, and among youth of the Ogaden diaspora living in the United Kingdom.
Youth aspirations for peace and security
The current trend in international policy to focus on the prevention of extremist violence often portrays youth as a threat to be managed. Yet, the consultations showed the great power of youth to act for peace and development, as well as their vision and ideas to achieve this.
In the face of tremendous challenges, many young people are actively engaging in their communities, and are making positive contributions in countless ways. Yet, many also lack the means or opportunities to do so. The consultations yielded numerous ideas from youth as to how to address these challenges, and demonstrate that youth should be involved in the design of any responses.