UN-Habitat believes in the full and meaningful engagement of youth, especially those in situations of conflict. It is estimated that a 600 million young people are living in conflict zones or fragile states, many of them in the cities and towns of the world. We at UN-Habitat engage these youth, either directly or in partnership with local and national governments, seeking to partner with them to improve their lives and that of their communities. Programmes such as the Urban Youth Fund and the One Stop Youth Resource Centres have directly supported tens of thousands of youth in these situations, from Mogadishu, Somalia to Saana, Yemen.
Our engagement in laying the groundwork for this resolution – through our initial support for the creation of the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (IANYD) Sub-Working Group on Youth Participation in Peacebuilding, through to our strong support of the Guidelines on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding and the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security and subsequent Amman Youth Declaration – demonstrates our strong and sustainable commitment to the cause of youth and peacebuilding globally.
UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security is a paradigm shift away from the idea of young people being seen as a threat to security towards them taking leadership roles in transforming violent conflict to peaceful co-existence. The resolution calls on all stakeholders to engage young women and men as partners in this process. SCR 2250 is a ground breaking achievement. For the first in its history, the Security Council recognizes that young men and women play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. Equally as important, SCR 2250 recognizes that local government play a key role in peacebulding, and are a key partner for youth and others to assure any just and sustainable peace.
This resolution offers hope to the countries and communities plagued by violence; it is a framework which will give hope to the many youth who are struggling to bring about peace. We at UN-Habitat know through our programmes that youth are actively engaged day to day in creating peaceful environments.
In the city of Mogadishu, Somalia, youth are coming together with UN-Habitat, local government and community members to build a One Stop Youth Resource centre. This urban public space will be one of peace as well as one of hope, where training in a range of skills from carpentry to tailoring will be offered for young men and women. The One Stop will as well be a place for youth to gather, to plan, to dream and implement programmes which better the City.
Following the passing of SCR 2250, UNSOM with the support of civil society and UN agencies such as UN-Habitat, convened over 150 young people from across Somalia to discuss concrete action points on how the Amman Declaration and SCR 2250. The event was well attended, including officials from the Somali government. This event demonstrates the clear desire of youth to be heard in peacebuilding.
In the City of Hebron, Palestine, young people supported by UN-Habitat and the local government were actively engaged to strengthen the spirit of volunteerism and civic engagement in their community. The project was aimed at engaging young women who were trained at a local youth centre to employ skills they gained to enhance the beauty of the center and at the same time set an example for other young people in the community.
These examples demonstrate how youth take leadership in their day to day lives to create peaceful and prosperous environments for their communities, and underline that their capacities to actively be engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation and that a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend the can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place.
15 years after the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 recognized the role of women in maintaining international peace and security, the adoption of SCR 2250 marks that beginning of a new Youth, Peace and Security agenda for the Council. The Resolution will support young women and men working in this field through acknowledging them by the most powerful body of the United nations, underlining the essential nature of their work and efforts to support a durable peace.
This Resolution also comes at a critical time as we move to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; more particularly Goal 16 which promotes peaceful and inclusive societies.
I salute the leadership from the Government of Jordan and commend his Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II for bringing the voice of youth to the Security Council. I am very proud of the United Nations and our partners who have been at the forefront of collaborating with civil society on expanding the definition of peace and security to include young men and women.
We at UN-Habitat commit to working with our local government partners to implement this resolution, and advance the issue of youth and peacbuilding globally.