In December 2015, with the adoption of UNSCR 2250, the UN Security Council formally recognized the critical role young people play in building and sustaining peace. The WFUNA Youth Seminar: Kampala took place in Grand Global Hotel from November 22 to 24, 2017. The seminar brought together over 80 young women and men from 13 different countries (Canada, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda) either as UNA youth representatives or as external guests. The main objectives of the Seminar were to promote UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security and to enhance the capacity of the WFUNA Youth Network to support its implementation.
Day 1 – Setting the Stage
The Youth Seminar started with a panel discussion on peace and security challenges faced by today’s young people. After the introductory panel, Mr. George Muzwanguzi (UNA-Uganda President), Ambassador Mr. Adonia Ayabare (Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN), Mr. Alain Sibenaler (UNFPA Country Director), Mr. Bonian Golmohammadi (Secretary-General of WFUNA), and Ms. Jayathma Wickranamayake (UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth) through a video message, delivered their welcome remarks.
Ms. Margaret Williams (WFUNA Senior Peace and Security Officer) laid out the foundation of the Seminar with her presentation on the foundation and components of UNSCR 2250. During the interactive breakout discussion session, participants had the chance to have in-depth discussions about the specific challenges and opportunities young people face in their communities in building and sustaining peace. The conversation continued with a crucial topic on Youth Preventing Violent Extremism and concluded with a presentation on Disarmament, Disengagement, and Reintegration.
Day 2 – Setting the Stage/Building Alliances
Day 2 of the Youth Seminar started with an engaging debate on the issue of Gender, Youth, Peace and Security. This interactive segment was moderated by Ms. Lindsay McClain Opiyo (Development and Partnership Specialist of Generations for Peace). She introduced the importance of considering gender dynamics in intervention and prevention programmes. Ms. Linda Asaba (UNA-Uganda Program Manager) discussed Peacebuilding Perspectives from Uganda. She highlighted the importance of recognizing economic rights as a tool for youth empowerment in Uganda. Ms. Sanni Selene Tenn of UNA Finland presented the Finnish case of youth involvement in the implementation of UNSCR 2250. The rest of the day was devoted to thinking of ways how can an alliance for Youth, Peace and Security be built through the creation of 2250 Youth Hubs housed within UNAs and UNYAs. At the end of the day, participants had the chance to share their conceptual model
Day 3 – Way Forward
On the last day of the Youth Seminar participants presented their ideas on the 2250 Youth Hubs. Mr. Richard Baguma (UNA-Uganda Secretary-General) delivered his heartfelt closing remarks on the power and role of youth in peacebuilding.