On 09 December 2015, the Security Council unanimously adopted its first ever resolution on Youth, Peace and Security (UNSCR 2250), thereby recognizing the importance of the positive contributions which young people are making for the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. Furthermore, it affirmed the important role that youth need to assume in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and called for the engagement of youth as partners and leaders at all levels of decision-making and in peacebuilding processes. While Resolution 2250 has thus set the frame for a wider debate on this topic, it does not provide concrete guidance on effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels. “The Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security”, which will be presented in the Open Debate of the Security Council on 23 April 2018, for the first time formulates practical guidance for the implementation of Resolution 2250.
The progress study urges the international community to “invest in the capacities, agency and leadership of young people”. The way forward is thus very clear: we need to strengthen the confidence and capacities of young leaders who can generate solutions aligned with their values, while addressing root causes and systemic challenges. It has thus already become clear that education, training and capacity building of both youth and their counterparts at local, national and regional levels are essential to translate Resolution 2250 from the halls of the United Nations to policy makers, actors and change-agents at the ground level.
The course enables learners from around the globe to better understand the current situation of youth in complex contexts, their needs, challenges and potential, and to explore possible entry points for young people’s involvement in peacebuilding activities and strategies.
Through two parallel tracks for young people and relevant decision-makers in fragile contexts, the course provides participants with the opportunity to develop strategies for youth empowerment, and serves to enhance basic skills that are critical to successfully contribute to peacebuilding processes.
At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Define youth population in the peacebuilding process and define central concepts such as peace, peacebuilding and violence
- Differentiate between the unique challenges youth population is facing in post-conflict settings
- Identify capacities/attributes of youth population distinguishing them from other actors in peacebuilding
- Trace strategies to engage youth population in peacebuilding in order to lessen the exclusion of youth in the peacebuilding process
- Outline ways to facilitate youth population´s empowerment to enhance their capacity for participating in/ contributing to the peacebuilding process
Content and Structure
Module 1: Youth populations in peacebuilding
The module introduces the topic of youth populations in contexts of peacebuilding. It focuses on shortcomings of the current position of youth populations in peacebuilding processes in relation to the role envisaged for youth in UNSCR 2250, and outlines the economic downfalls and security risks for societies and communities of not involving youth in peacebuilding.
Module 2: Challenges of youth populations in post-conflict settings
The module focuses on the challenges youth populations face in conflict and post-conflict settings, such as trauma, lack of education, political marginalization, unemployment, and participation in the DDR process, with a transversal focus on specific challenges faced by young women and girls. It also gives an insight into factors of radicalization and youth violence, and in the prevention thereof.
Module 3: Youth populations’ potential for peacebuilding and important aspects of peacebuilding projects
The module deals with the position of young people as key actors in peacebuilding processes, highlighting concepts such as youth resilience and cross-generational approaches. It also shares recommendations and best practices to set up environments fostering youth participation in political discussion.
Module 4: Inclusion and empowerment of youth populations in peacebuilding
The youth track highlights best practices empowering youth to initiate or take part in peacebuilding projects at the local, regional, national and international level. It also offers an opportunity for reflection on participants’ passions and capabilities in relation with their communities’ priorities and needs.
Module 5: Introduction to project design and revision of best practices
The youth track guides participants towards concretely contributing to peacebuilding processes in their immediate surroundings and in the broader societal context. For this purpose, the module will introduce activities such as: context analysis, formulating the vision and outcomes of a project, setting-up a monitoring system, planning activities, “Do No Harm” considerations, and budgeting.
Primary target audience: Young people aged between 15 and 30 from conflict-affected countries or countries in special situations, that are already working, or interested in working with others in the fields of peacebuilding and political decision-making.
The course offers:
- Knowledge and skills to successfully participate in peacebuilding.
- Strategies to identify gaps and entry points for youth initiatives within existing peacebuilding processes.
- Constructive ways to channel youth’s potential and motivation into meaningful participation in social and political life, and to bring about peaceful social change.