There is a general consensus gaining currency in the world now, that to achieve sustainable peace and development, all stakeholders including youth, women, governments and civil society organisations must contribute effectively.
Today, I shall be exploring a very important aspect of youth, peace and security under the theme: ‘International Instruments for Young Peoples Participation in Peacebuilding”.
By international instruments, I refer to those available policies and agreements made by governments and nations to support youth in their quest for peace and sustainable development. The focus of this article is to x-ray one of those international instruments available to young people, the roles of youth in the domestication of this instrument at all levels of the society and specific actions that can be taken by youth in raising awareness for it.
There are several instruments available to young people who are working around peacebuilding at the local, state and regional levels. Examples are the National Youth Policy, African Youth Charter and the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250. The essence of this article is to engage readers on the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250.
Before I proceed, I want to posit that, mere mentioning of this resolution at fora and meetings has opened doors for me personally (not monetary but quality contacts) and to my organisation (Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative) in the peacebuilding industry. I am sure it will work for everyone in our various work only if we can leverage on it.
What is UNSCR 2250?
On the 9th December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250. This is the first Resolution that deals with the role of young people on issues of peace and security. This global policy framework is important to all youth because it recognizes the actual potentials of youth in conflict and post conflict reconstruction.
Why is United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 important to youth?
This resolution is very important because the world leaders discovered that they cannot build sustainable peace without the involvement of youth, protecting their lives, meaningfully engaging and empowering them on issues of peace and security. Rather than seeing youth from a deficit view as trouble makers, this resolution acknowledges youth as co-creators, providing recognition and legitimacy to the works been done by youth at local, state and national levels towards building lasting peace.
What are the Components of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250?
UNSCR 225O has five (5) main components. I have summarized them as follows;
Participation: It asks governments to increase the participation of young people in decision making at local, state and national levels.
Protection: It requires governments to ensure the protection of youth and civilians during conflict and in post conflict settings.
Prevention: It calls on government to support youth by creating conducive atmosphere so as to allow them implement violent prevention and peacebuilding activities.
Partnership: It urges member states to establish and strengthen partnerships with relevant actors by engaging and empowering them on issues of countering violent extremism, social cohesion and inclusion.
Disengagement and reintegration: This resolution urges government to disengage youth from taking violent actions through the provision of job opportunities, education, capacity building and trainings, civic engagement programmes and everything possible to support the ideas and aspirations of young person.
Is UNSCR 225O binding on Government?
Yes, it is. All member states of the United Nations including Nigeria have been mandated to implement and domesticate its content at local, state and national levels. It will interest you to know that Jordan alongside Nigeria and Angola sponsored the resolution
What are the Roles of Youth towards the Implementation of UNSCR 2250?
(1)Youth across Nigeria must demand the domestication and implementation of UNSCR 2250 from their leaders at local, state and national government.
(2)We must communicate and lobby our lawmakers on the importance and need to implement this resolution.
(3)All youth must join in spreading this word. Let people know about the existence of this resolution, what it says and why it is important to young people.
How can I spread this resolution?
As an organisation Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) organised a national workshop last year to sensitize youth on the existence of this resolution. We also constituted a UNSCR 2250 campaign and monitoring team that is working on raising awareness for the resolution. We are also doing a lot of awareness on social media. However, more can still be done.
As individuals, we can introduce this resolution to other youth and youth organisations within our reach.
You can talk about the resolution at events where issues concerning youth and peace are been discussed and debated.
You can write articles or blog post on this resolution. This should be posted on our various social media platforms.
You can also organize meetings, internal seminars, and even workshops in your locality. Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) will definitely be available to provide the needed support.
You can also come up with artistic representation of the resolution. It could be through music, cartoons, jingles, comedy skit etc. Just come up with something creative. Youth are known for their creativity.
The United Nations has given youth the needed support and empowered us with the adoption of Resolution 2250. Let us take advantage of this instrument. The world belongs to us.
Lawal Rafiu Adeniran
Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI)