“Youth, Peace and Security” is one of the new priorities of the Youth Cooperation Programme of the North-South Centre. With this new focus the scope of youth participation will be enlarged with new essential fields to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Council of Europe’s priority “peaceful and inclusive societies”.
The Lisbon Forum 2018 inserted in the agenda of all North-South Centre’s stakeholders the need to uplift youth engagement in peace and democratic processes in the Euro-Mediterranean Region. The main players in this area welcomed the outcomes and the recommendations of this high-level event, and led the the United Nations Population Fund* to invite the North-South Centre to present its work during the 1st Youth Forum of the Arab region.
The Youth Forum took place in Morocco in December 2018 and allowed the Youth Cooperation Programme of North-South Centre to connect with many youth organisations from the Arab region carrying out exceptional work to combat discrimination and prevent violent extremism. On that occasion, the North-South Centre also contributed to shape “the Regional Strategic framework on Youth, Peace and Security in the Arab states” initiated during the Lisbon Forum, strengthening the relationship with like-minded governments and international institutions, particularly sensitive to youth and peace issues.
2019 will be a crucial year to place at the top of the global agenda the recognition of young people as key players in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. The North-South Centre will contribute to this global effort by promoting both capacity building and advocacy/networking opportunities.
In regards to the first aspect, the North-South Centre will soon launch a seed-funding scheme for youth organisations, while a training course on youth participation in peace processes will bring 20 young human rights activists and youth leaders at the 20th University on youth and development (September, 2019).
On what concerns the second dimension, a seminar - organised in the framework of the South Programme III, as a follow-up of the Lisbon Forum 2018 - will further explore the topic building upon the Amman declaration. Moreover, a quadrilogue seminar organised in the framework of the 7th University on youth and global citizenship, will allow representatives from governments, parliaments, local and regional authorities and civil society to share perspectives and jointly look for new youth-based and human rights-based policies on peace and security challenges.
This topic will also be a relevant dimension of the work of the Network on Youth and Global Citizenship, which this year will focus on “youth and justice”: to ensure the protection of human rights, to advocate for social justice, and increase the capacity of young people to face and report abuses and violations will be the challenges that the Network will address through its 2019’s Universities.
The Youth Cooperation Programme will develop the new focus of “Youth, Peace and Security” through its distinctive approach: bottom-up and multilateral, in cooperation with its partners (the United Network of Young Peacebuilders, among others) and involving the major players of the sector.
*acts as the secretariat of the UN Progress Study on Youth Peace and Security