United Nations calls on Youth Participation in Peacebuilding – here’s what we think

12 juni, 2018

United Nations has once again recognized young people as human rights defenders. In its Resolution 2419, UN Security Councils calls on all countries to include young people when they negotiate and implement peace agreements.

On 6th of June, UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2419 on Youth, Peace and Security which recognizes young people and youth organsiations as important actors in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and building of sustainable peace. The resolution, initiated by the governments of Peru and Sweden, is a “younger sibling” of Resolution 2250 from 2015.

The Resolution calls on countries to respect, promote and protect human rights of young people and in particular to right to education and the right to participation in decision making for all young people, irrespective of their background, identity or the situation they’re in. The resolution also urges all countries to protect young people from violence in armed conflict and to eliminate all forms of sexual and genderbased violence as well as human trafficking. The resolution, however, fails to address the issue of lack of financial incentives for young people and youth organisations to be able to act as peacebuilders, despite this being one of the most crucial demands of young people towards the Security Council.

Save the Children Youth Sweden welcomes the adoption of the Resolution.

By including young people in decision making over how to sustain peace, children are more likely to meet their right to a safe childhood and to a stimulating living environment”, chair-person of Save the Children Youth Sweden Jorge Maria Londono said.

We thank the governments of Peru and Sweden on the initiative. To our Ministry of Foreign Affairs we want to say – young people and children in Sweden are seeing your efforts in UN Security Council and the only way to get from words to action is to include Save the Children Youth Sweden and other youth organisations in your work. We will be expecting the email.” Jorge Maria said.

Children and young people in Save the Children Youth Sweden believe that Swedish manufacturers and above all Swedish government, which holds the ultimate responsibility, needs to terminate export of weapons and armory to countries in war, countries with dictatorship regimes and countries violating human rights of children and other citizens. According to Save the Children’s report “The War on Children” (2018) 300 million children have been victims of war and that is 300 million children too many.

Furthermore, we call for the government of Sweden to increase investments in education, children’s wellbeing and youth participation as a weapon – so to speak – to achieve international security, rather than to continue participating in missions intensifying armed conflicts. Save the Children Youth Sweden believes that Sweden needs to leave the Partnership for Peace (PFF) program of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The reason for that is that militarization causes deaths of children, destruction of their schools, recruitment of child soldiers, forcing of children to be suicide bombers and child sexual slavery aimed at satisfying soldiers.

Acting in line with UN Security Council Resolutions 2250 and 2419 means creating space for young people to voice these concerns and participate in decision-making to achieve lasting peace.