About 40 participants which included members of Nigerian Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI), representatives of the Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR), All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA), Centre for Peacebuilding and Disaster Relief (CEPADR), Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP), West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies (IPSS), University of Ibadan, Nigerian Peace Corps, Peace and Conflict Studies Students Association (PACSSA), University of Ibadan and Media were in attendance.
The importance of engaging young men and young women in shaping lasting peace led to the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 in December 2015. This global policy framework spotlighted the nexus between youth, peace and security and also emphasized youth inclusion into institutions and mechanism for conflict prevention, resolution and building sustainable peace.
Nigerian Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) is focused on achieving its objectives, which includes; advocating and monitoring the implementation of UNSCR 2250 which also complements her efforts at achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 in Nigeria.
This workshop which is the first phase of her National Campaign for the Implementation of UNSCR 2250 in Nigeria was designed to sensitize and create awareness on the existence of this global policy framework and its usefulness.
OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP
The objectives of the workshop are as follows;
- To explore the components of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 and how it can be applied.
- To equip and build the capacity of youth and youth led organisation to effectively advocate and monitor the implementation of UNSCR 2250.
- To institute and seek commitments towards the working group known as UNSCR 2250 Monitoring Group in Nigeria.
The workshop began at 10:05am with the second stanza of Nigeria’s national anthem. The National Coordinator, Mr Lawal Rafiu Adeniran while welcoming participants to the workshop emphasized that youth are a major stakeholder if lasting peace and sustainable development goals would be achieved. He pointed out that persons who are below the age of 35 years occupy an estimated 65% of Nigeria’s population, therefore, given that demographic advantage, their inclusion in decision making institutions is not negotiable. He urged youth to come together to demand their participation in decision making processes.
Goodwill messages were given by Mr. Amusat Kolawole of West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mr. Olayiwola Lawal of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) Oyo State Chapter, and Mr Ayo Davies of All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA).
The Keynote Address
The Keynote Speaker, Mr Ronald Kayanja, Country Director of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos while delivering the keynote address lauded the efforts of Nigerian Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) in organizing this important event, as it was the first time that he was engaging with young people on the UNSCR 2250 which was passed in December 2015. He posited that this was the first time a nongovernmental organization was doing something about this resolution. He stressed that United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) would support the efforts of Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) in making sure that Nigeria implements this resolution. He noted that the resolution was important to the World and in particular to Nigeria because it will bring about youth inclusion in the socioeconomic and political sphere and due to this, his office will see to it that it supports all efforts that would make sure that this particular resolution is domesticated in Nigeria. He posited that since the resolution was approved by the United Nations Security Council it becomes binding on Member States to implement the content thereof because they dwell on matters that relates to international peace and security.
UNSCR 2250, according to him came at a time when the world is experiencing increasing radicalization and extremism perpetuated largely by young people. The conflicts in the Middle East by ISIS, the North East of Nigeria are orchestrated by young people. He said that technological advancement has also aided terrorism aside the development it has brought to the world. The social media which are used by mostly young people have been used to conscript youth into terrorist organisation and also used to bring about political change in Tunisia, Egypt and almost in Iran.
He pointed out that to the United Nations, youth are seen as the leaders of today and not tomorrow and as such they must be represented at all levels of governance and in peacebuilding process.
He quoted a report written by the British Council in 2010 titled, The Next Generation Report “in the worse case Nigeria will see growing number of restless young people frustrated by lack of opportunity, increased competition for jobs, land, natural resources and political patronage, cities that are increasingly unable to cope with the pressure placed on them, ethnic and religious conflict and radicalization and it political system discredited by its failure to improve lives.
He said implementing the resolution in Nigeria is not an option but a priority as it calls on Members States to ensure increase participation of young people in decision making processes. Also the resolution calls for the protection of young people during conflict situation in compliance with international law, the resolution calls on member states to prevent violence by providing peace education, promote the culture of peace and empower young people to avoid exclusion.
Mr Kayanja, who identified advocacy and awareness creation, domestication and integration of the resolution into the workings of the government, improving the socioeconomic status of young people, training of young people on conflict resolution, peacebuilding and de-radicalization of armed groups and militias, keeping the United Nations accountable on these resolutions especially their agencies in Nigeria, would go a long way in making the resolution effective in Nigeria.
Inauguration of UNSCR 2250 Working Group in Nigeria
The workshop witnessed the formal inauguration of ‘United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 Monitoring Group in Nigeria’. This working group was charged with the responsibility of coordinating the advocacy and monitoring of the resolution in the six geo political zones of Nigeria. Mr Ronald Kayanja, Country Director, United Nations Information Centre who officially inaugurated members of the group handed over “A Guide to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250” packaged by United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to all members of the working Group.
Dr. Willie Eselebor, a guest facilitator from the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan dealt with monitoring and evaluating UNSCR 2250. He noted that M&E is high on the developmental agenda of many organisations and it is about what worked, what failed to work and why. He mentioned that projects fail in this part of the world because there is no proper monitoring and evaluating mechanism. He explained that evaluation helps us understand the relevance of a particular intervention in a broader development contest. It therefore means that as a peacebuilder you need to understand the culture and language of the people and the place in question to bring about positive change.
Dr. Eselebor while summarizing his presentation advised that for effective monitoring and evaluation of the UNSCR 2250, NY4PI should monitor the level of acceptance and domestication of the resolution. The level of protection accorded youth during armed conflicts, the level of inclusiveness and consultation in decision making process, the opportunities opened to youth to engage in post conflict peacebuilding and lastly the partnership- political, financial, technical and logistical support to youth in development.
Another, guest facilitator, Mr. Amusat Kolawole, Oyo State Coordinator, West African Network of Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria) whose presentation centered on “Advocacy: an Instrument of Positive Change” opined that advocacy is a right based issue. According to him, for advocacy to be meaningful and purposeful, one must put into consideration the changing nature of the issues and problems, credibility of data, information and individual or people involved in advocacy. He stressed further that advocacy required skills, tact and collaboration.
- The one-day workshop enlightened participants about the key components of the UNSCR 2250.
- It equipped and built the capacity of youth and youth led organisation to effectively advocate and monitor the implementation of UNSCR 2250.
- The inauguration of a working group known as UNSCR 2250 Monitoring Group across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. These are as follows;
- Femi Bucknor – South-West
- Ayo Davies -South-South
- Matesun Oluwabukunmi -North-West
- Miss Emmanuella Uche Odina – South-East
- Gaius Omoteinse – North-Central
- Bababunmi Williams – North-East
In conclusion, the workshop ended with a vote of thanks from Matesun Oluwabukunmi, the Director for Partnership and Sponsorship. She thanked all the facilitators and participants that attended the workshop. The workshop came to an end at 2:40pm
Report Written by
Williams Bababunmi and Ajasa Motunrayo
Members, Nigerian Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI)