The Security Council today encouraged Member States to comprehensively engage young people in fostering durable peace, building upon the initiative “Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020” and on the Council’s 2 October debate on mobilizing young people towards that goal.
In a statement (document S/PRST/2019/15) presented by Cherith Norman-Chalet (United States), whose country holds the organ’s December presidency, the Council recognized that youth now form the majority of people affected by armed conflict, and that disrupting their access to education and economic opportunity has a dramatic impact on lasting peace and reconciliation.
At the same time, a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and prosperity if inclusive policies are in place, the statement said. In that context, the Council encouraged Member States to create opportunities for youth, including young women, to participate meaningfully in peace processes and to promote dialogue in all schools, while integrating young people and their civil society groups into efforts to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and inter-cultural communication.
Among other actions encouraged are measures for physical and psychological recovery as well as for the social reintegration of young survivors of conflict; full compliance with obligations to protect the human rights of youths; the promotion of inclusive development to support youth as a key to preventing conflict; and the engagement of young people in the reconstruction of devastated areas.
Recognizing the importance of its interaction with civil society, the Council expressed its intention to invite young persons, including their representative organizations, to brief its members on thematic issues. It also requested that the Secretary-General consider, including in his reporting, information on progress made towards involving young people in peace processes — including disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes ‑ and in interlinked activities, such as reducing community violence.
The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 3:04 p.m.