In 2015, one out of every 6 people worldwide was between 15 and 24 years of age. Yet, across the globe, the vast majority of young people are excluded from – or on the margins of – mainstream political, economic and social activities, platforms and processes. This exclusion is amplified by the prevailing stereotypes that linger around the perception of young men and women. Young men in conflict-affected societies have predominantly been viewed as the primary perpetrators of violence or the potential “spoilers” of delicate peace processes. For their part, young women are primarily seen as passive victims.
In December 2015, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS). This resolution is the first to recognize the important and positive role young women and men play in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. Resolution 2250 requests the Secretary-General “to carry out a Progress Study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels”, and to present the results of the Study to Member States of the United Nations.
“Young people’s exclusion is not due to the lack of voices or their ability to speak, it is on the other side: why is the other side not listening?”
- Nur Laiq, Advisor for Progress Study
Beyond a Study – A Strategy for the Implementation of UNSCR 2250
The Study is being conducted as an independent, evidence-based and participatory research process, and will produce an operational report proposing a forward-looking agenda for the international community. It provides a chance for a unique contribution to the prevention of violence and violent extremism, and to building sustainable peace for and by young people themselves, drawing on their innovation and resilience.
A Campaign to Lift Up Young People's Voices
Young people must be given an opportunity to substantively contribute to the discussions on the main peace and security issues facing their communities, and to identify solutions for and indicators of progress on the YPS agenda. The participatory nature of the Study will reflect the value, importance and practice of consulting young people as a way to redress their historical marginalization and political exclusion.
A System-Wide Approach – Contributing to Larger Policy Discussions
The YPS agenda is an age-responsive approach to Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the two are inextricably linked, with the YPS agenda re-emphasizing the pivotal role young women have and must continue to have in conflict management, conflict resolution and sustaining peace. The Progress Study will also make an essential contribution to “sustaining peace” (as defined by recent UN resolutions) and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the advancement of “peaceful, just and inclusive societies”.
Mining and Producing Knowledge – Thematic and Country Case-Studies
Thematic and country-specific research is being commissioned to provide evidence on young people’s participation in formal and informal peace processes, issues of countering violent extremism and young people’s role in transitional justice, to name a few, and identify existing knowledge gaps.
The Study will also draw on the expertise of our various civil society partners, UN agencies and an Advisory Group of Experts to provide evidence and substantive guidance on thematic issues of vital importance to young people. The Advisory Group of Experts is composed of 21 scholars, practitioners and young leaders from around the world, specializing on a wide range of issues, including youth empowerment, violence prevention, gender equality and youth development. The Lead Author for the Study, Graeme Simpson, has more than 25 years of experience working as a global specialist on peacebuilding, conflict and violence with civil society, government and multilateral agencies, and is the current Director of Interpeace USA. A Steering Committee, composed of 35 partners from the UN system, civil society and non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations, foundations, etc. has been established to steer the overall development of the Progress Study.
“We need to close the gap between local and international peacebuilders.”
- Malual Bol Kiir, Advisor for Progress Study
The overall coordination of the Study is managed by a joint United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) / Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) Secretariat. For more information, please contact Cécile Mazzacurati, Head of the UNFPA/PBSO Secretariat for the Progress Study: email@example.com.