11 December 2020; Baghdad, Iraq - On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the 2250 UN Security Council Resolution, Iraq launched the National Coalition for Youth, Peace, Security, under the auspices of the Minister of Youth & Sports, Adnan Darjal.
The Coalition supported by the Ministry of Youth & Sports, UNFPA, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish Government, and Peace And Freedom Organization, is the result of the UNSC resolution 2250 on youth engagement in the peace-building process and conflict resolution. The resolution was adopted in 2015 to shed light on the role of youth in establishing healthy communities that build on conflict-resolution reasoning and prevention of violence and extremism.
The United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake addressed the participants via a video message and congratulated Iraq on achieving the first and very important step towards localising the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in Iraq, and setting the example for youth-led, inter-generational, inter-governmental efforts and partnerships for other countries.
During his speech, Minister Darjal praised the efforts exerted by young people to deliver messages of peace and security despite the challenges they face. He expressed his support to initiatives that will further bolster the civic participation and community engagement of young men and women across Iraq.
Commenting on UNFPA support to the Coalition, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, said: “Young people in Iraq represent a significant driver for change and a major asset for the country's peaceful and sustainable development. We trust that the Youth, Peace, & Security Coalition will bring all young Iraqis together to agree on a vision, advance their ideas forward and create a movement that will translate young people’s dream into actions.” She emphasised the importance of girls engagement and empowerment in the decision-making process and their representation in the Coalition.
The Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Iraq, Mr Christoffer Burnett-Cargill said: “The future development of Iraq lies in the hand of the Iraqi people. We are here to help, support and partner with you. Iraq leads on its own, with strong national ownership and participation of its people. Iraq should be proud of its youth who wants to influence its society, have ideas and demands, and raising their voices for peaceful relations, democracy and rule of law.”
For his part, the Process Lead for Youth, Peace and Security at the Folke Bernadotte Academy, Mr Julius Kramer, said: ”Young Iraqis are leading the way for peace and coexistence in their communities. They deserve support and empowerment to do even more - and to be included in decision-making at all levels. Over the past year, we have partnered with young people in building the Iraqi Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security. The goal of the Coalition is to strengthen the participation of young women and men in building a peaceful Iraq.”
The Youth, Peace and Security Coalition brings together young peacebuilders, government, NGOs and the international community on common ground. It gives equal representation for men and women and acknowledges the role of young women in decision making, conflict resolution and mediation. The coalition offers youth a joint platform where they can drive forward their priorities, advocate for their interests and needs and promote the effective participation of young people in the decision-making process especially those related to peace and security.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
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