The Global Policy Paper on youth participation in peace processes, “We Are Here: An integrated approach to youth-inclusive peace processes” is an independent paper, co-authored and researched by Ali Altiok and Irena Grizelj, commissioned by United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, with the financial support of the Government of Finland and support of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), and Search for Common Ground (SFCG).

Summary of key messages:

  1. The agenda of youth inclusion must be implemented from a conflict-sensitive and do-no-harm approach.

  2. The inclusion of young people during all phases of peace processes likely increases the sustainability of the agreements.

  3. Youth inclusion and participation in peace processes should not be considered a new agenda in competition with other inclusion agendas.

  4. Young people’s proximity to the table matters because young people are distinctively impacted by the results of decisions made at the formal peace negotiation table.

  5. Ensuring the representation of diverse youth constituencies matters in peace negotiations.

  6. Enabling youth political participation during peace negotiations will contribute to more inclusive and representative governance structures that build the basis for more peaceful societies.

This paper is launched in the wake of the first International Symposium on Youth Participation and Peace Processes, which took place in Helsinki, Finland on March 5 and 6, 2019. Building on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 2250 and 2149 on Youth, Peace and Security, the International Symposium highlighted the positive roles young people play in shaping political and peace processes, while building on the independent progress study on youth, peace and security: The Missing Peace. The summary report can be found here.