The Peacebuilding Commission's Strategic Action Plan on Youth and Peacebuilding
In February 2021, the Peacebuilding Commission approved a Strategic Action Plan on Youth and Peacebuilding to help guide and monitor the Commission’s efforts in support of the critical role of young women and men in peacebuilding. The Commission is committed to doing more to mainstream youth considerations into its work, in line with the twin resolutions on the 2015 Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture (A/RES/70/262 and S/RES/2282 (2016)) as well as Security Council resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020).
The Strategic Action Plan may serve as a checklist to contribute to consistent, coherent, follow-up by the Commission, taking also into consideration Security Council resolution 2535 (2020) which welcomed the PBC’s increased engagement in support of youth and encouraged the Commission to continue to support the important peacebuilding role that young people play and to bring its observations and advice to the attention of the Security Council, as appropriate.
Gwendolyn S. Myers (Liberia), Carlos Garcia (El Salvador), Christine Odera (Kenya) and Agatha Lydia Natania (Indonesia) briefed at the Peacebuilding Commission on 10 May 2022 and shared their efforts and views as young peacebuilders
Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace and Youth:
- Call upon Member States and relevant United Nations organs and entities to consider ways to increase meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in peacebuilding efforts through creating policies, including in partnership with the private sector where relevant, that would enhance youth capacities and skills, and create youth employment to actively contribute to sustaining peace, and in this regard, requests the Secretary-General and the Peacebuilding Commission to include in their recommendations ways to engage youth in peacebuilding;
- Stress the importance of the Peacebuilding Commission to fulfil its functions to serve as a platform to convene all relevant actors, including youth organizations, in order to provide recommendations and information to improve their coordination, to develop and share good practices in peacebuilding, including on institution-building, and to ensure predictable financing to peacebuilding
- Underline that the scale and nature of the challenge of sustaining peace can be met through close strategic and operational partnerships between national Governments, the United Nations, and other key stakeholders, including youth organizations, and encourages the Peacebuilding Commission to consider options for regular exchanges and joint initiatives with key stakeholders to promote sustainable peace
Focus Area of the Strategic Action Plan on Youth and Peacebuilding:
1: PBC supports and advocates for greater youth engagement in peacebuilding, in countries and regions considered by PBC
2: PBC provides advice to the General Assembly, Security Council, and ECOSOC, that is timely, clear and operational, on the role of youth in peacebuilding, as appropriate
3: PBC promotes the role of youth in peacebuilding in its bridging efforts with other relevant UN bodies
4: PBC promotes meaningful participation of youth in peacebuilding in its partnerships with IFIs, regional and subregional organizations
5: PBC assesses progress on implementation of the strategic action plan to help advance the role of youth in peacebuilding
Strategic core actions for integrating youth into the work of the PBC:
Support and advocate for greater youth engagement in peacebuilding
- Task 1a: Strengthen the substantive, cross-cutting integration of gender perspectives in all PBC country-specific thematic and strategic engagement.
- Task 1b: PBC conducts consultations with youth during country-specific, regional, and thematic meetings and field visits, as appropriate
- Task 1c: Support efforts by countries under PBC consideration to promote the role of youth in peacebuilding in their respective national strategies and plans. This includes sharing good practices in capacity-building, innovative dialogue platforms, workshops, model events and youth group activities, as well as good practices in new technologies as tools that contribute to the meaningful participation of young people in peacebuilding initiatives
- Task 2: Provide strategic advice and briefings to the General Assembly, Security Council, and ECOSOC, as appropriate, on the role of youth in peacebuilding
Bridging efforts with other relevant UN bodies
- Task 3: Explore the scope for greater cooperation with the General Assembly and ECOSOC in support of the role of youth in peacebuilding and development initiatives
Partnerships with IFIs, regional and subregional organizations
- Task 4: Explore the scope for greater cooperation with IFIs and regional/sub-regional organizations in support of the role of youth in peacebuilding and development initiatives
Assesses progress on implementation
- Task 5: PBC reports annually on the status of the strategic action plan on youth and peacebuilding and convenes annual meeting.
Mamadou Yacine Djibro, Niger (Youth Association for Peace and Cohesion (AJEPAC)) briefed at the Peacebuilding Commission on 20 April 2022 and shared their efforts and views as young peacebuilders in the Lake Chad Basin
The following is the findings and recommendations from the Written Assessment of the Implementation of PBC Strategic Action Plan on Youth and Peacebuilding.
Overall Progress from 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2022
- Important efforts have been made to include and mainstream issues affecting young people and to advocate more consistently for the essential role young people play in peacebuilding. The vast majority of PBC outcome documents contained reference to youth—only fourteen documents out of 67 had none; and a solid majority of the outcome documents called for strengthening support and promotion of youth’s role in peacebuilding. The majority of the concept notes also included references to youth, the exceptions being five out of a total of 33 documents.
- Significant Increase in the number of youth representatives invited to brief the Commission, with an increase of the participation rate of young peacebuilders who briefed the Commission from 5.4 % in 2020, to 44.4 % in 2021.
- Advice and briefings to the General Assembly, Security Council, and ECOSOC consistently referred to the importance of including young people in peacebuilding efforts. Virtually every time the PBC presented advice and briefings to the General Assembly, Security Council, and ECOSOC, the Commission mentioned the importance of including young people in peacebuilding efforts. Nearly all PBC advice and briefings advocated for the meaningful and equal participation of youth in peacebuilding and for strengthening the role and inclusion of youth in peacebuilding.
Meanwhile, more to be done for…
- Mainstreaming youth in the Commission’s role, work and discussions
- Ensuring systematic inclusion of youth perspectives and issues in all country, regional and thematic discussions
- Ensuring greater engagement with youth and youth-led organizations and ensuring substantial and systematic follow-ups of young briefers key messages and recommendations
- Ensuring a stronger advisory and bridging role with relevant UN bodies on youth and peacebuilding
- Further integrate the topic of youth and peacebuilding into collaborations with regional, subregional organizations and International Financial Institutions
- Further mainstream youth into the PBC’s work to increase the impact of its engagement with youth and its promotion of youth-responsive peacebuilding efforts
- Further strengthen, coordinate, systematize and institutionalize the PBC’s engagement with youth and youth-led organizations, as well as its follow-up to young peacebuilders’ recommendations to the Commission.
- Work on fostering stronger partnerships, cooperation and synergies with IFIs and regional/sub-regional organizations and relevant UN bodies.