Almost four years since the historic adoption of the United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution (SCR) 2250, most signatory Member States are still lagging in supporting youth-led initiatives and generating conducive environments for youth inclusion at the local level.
Despite most governments’ failure to implement this resolution and support youth-led peacebuilding initiatives, young peacebuilders around the world are charting creative and innovative ways to assert their voices, thus contributing to advancing youth inclusion in peacebuilding processes around the world.
In conflict zones around the world, children are recruited into the militia, forced into a life of violence. Many combatants want to leave their life of violence – but can see no way out. Disarming fighters is crucial for ending ongoing armed violence. Providing them with skills or a livelihood keeps them out of the militia for the long term.
This important work means child soldiers and ex-combatants can live a life they choose – not just survive – when they return home. To advance youth inclusion in peacebuilding processes and to support children affected by conflict, it is critical that policymakers and local stakeholders choose to perceive young peacebuilders and youth in general as allies for good rather than threats to contain.
Important questions remain around how can we effectively support and engage the growing number of youth peacebuilders around the world? How can we ensure greater support and identify a new approach to engage youth peacebuilders?