The key role that young Somalis play in helping develop their country came under the spotlight recently at a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council on youth, peace and security.
“Although young Somalis face many challenges and have very limited opportunities, long before the adoption of resolution 2250, they have been working to create change, to build peace and to accelerate development,’ a former UN Youth Advisor for Somalia, Joao Scarpelini, told the meeting.
“Very often, those are informal groups of volunteers, that are creatively finding ways to mobilize their peers, and improve communities with limited resources and often without institutional support,” he added.
The Council called for the virtual meeting – co-hosted by France and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and held under the so-called Arria-formula which allows for guest speakers – to share lessons learned and best practices in relation to the implementation of various resolutions on youth, peace and security in the context of UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions, with the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) being one of the latter.
Previously, the Council has highlighted the key role that young people can play in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace-building and sustaining peace, as well as the importance of facilitating youth participation and leadership in these areas.
The Council’s resolution 2250, adopted in 2015, highlighted the critical role that young people can play in conflict prevention and resolution and peace-building initiatives and the importance of facilitating youth participation spaces. It was followed by other resolutions which built on this in subsequent years, such as resolutions 2419 and 2535.
The meeting’s speakers included senior UN officials such as the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, and the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix. They spoke about their respective departments' work, supporting implementing the resolutions, and best practices in implementing the youth, peace, and security agenda by UN missions.
In her remarks, Ms. DiCarlo emphasized that the involvement of youth in peace initiatives is a must and called for the effective implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda, involving all key stakeholders.
“The continued support of the Member States and, importantly, the Security Council, is needed to make further progress on this agenda,” Ms. DiCarlo said. “We must build on the fact that the active participation and inclusion of young people, in political processes in peace-building, is no longer viewed as an optional or as an afterthought. It has rightly become one of the cornerstones of the sustaining peace agenda.”