MONDAY, JANUARY 29, 2018
The 9th of December, 2017 marked the 2nd anniversary of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (UNSCR 2250). To celebrate this milestone, the Permanent Missions of Finland, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Peru, along with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), the International Organization of La Francophonie hosted an event on the sidelines of the ECOSOC Youth Forum on 29th January from 1:15pm to 2:30pm. In partnership with the UN Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding and with the support of UNFPA and PBSO, this gathering aimed to take stock of progress made in implementing UNSCR 2250 since adoption and how various stakeholders plan on taking Youth, Peace and Security forward.
Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth,kicked off the discussion with a call to debunk the myths surrounding youth and violent extremism. “UNSCR 2250 should be at the center of the Sustaining Peace Agenda”, she said in anticipation of the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace on 24-25th of April convened by the President of the UN General Assembly, reflecting the need to empower young people as peacebuilders despite the difficult conditions they often face.
After opening remarks by Ms. Wickramanayake, Ms. Kessy Martine Ekomo-Soignet, Member of the Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security spoke about the reality of implementing UNSCR 2250 in the Central African Republic and the need to move from awareness raising to advocacy linked to concrete actions that feed into national policies. Ms. Annina Tikkanen, Board Member of the UN Youth Association of Finland, spoke about the Finnish 2250 civil society network (Alliansi) as a mechanism of engagement between civil society, (with an emphasis on youth) and the Finnish government, and how they are currently working on a national UNSCR 2250 implementation plan.
Ms. Khiabet Salazar, Youth Delegate of Peru to the UN, recognized how Youth Delegates can be powerful allies in promoting UNSCR 2250 since they act as a bridge between government and youth. She also announced Peru’s plans to hold an Open Debate to discuss the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security during their UN Security Council Presidency in April 2018. From an International Organization perspective, Mr. Ma-Umba Mabiala, Director of Education and Youth for the International Organization of La Francophonie made an appeal to member states to ensure that they translate UNSCR 2250 into national youth policy.
The formal panel discussion was followed by an interactive discussion by young people and representatives from NGOs and member states. Representatives from Belgium, Denmark, Spain and Portugal took the floor to reaffirm their commitments towards advancing implementation of UNSCR 2250.
Ms. Cécile Mazzacurati, from the Secretariat for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security with UNFPA/PBSO closed the event highlighting the importance of partnerships: “Partnerships…have been critical to the advancement of this agenda. A very unique form of partnership between young people, youth civil society organizations, other national organizations, international NGOs, the UN, and now member states.”