Youth engaged to foster peace

The UN Member States have agreed on action to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels and to create ways for youth to engage in conflict prevention, participate in peace processes, and counter recruitment by violent extremists. FBA is commissioned by the Swedish government to analyse how Sweden best can implement Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security.

Conflicts are on the rise globally, people are driven from their homes and the number of refugees is higher than ever. Today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known and more than 600 million young people are now living in conflict areas or weak states.

– In a world where half of the global population is under 24 years of age it is not fair that youth are left out of decision-making on issues that highly affect the future. Youth, peace and security is an important perspective for us to bring into our work contributing to stability and development, says Sven-Eric Söder, Director-General of the FBA.

Youth participation to prevent conflicts

Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security is considered the first of its kind. It was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council in December 2015 and defines youth as persons aged 18 through 29.

– This autumn we will give recommendations on how Sweden can fulfill the resolution and contribute by giving more attention to young men and women’s work to shape lasting peace, security and development. An important aspect is youth participation in conflict prevention, not least in countering violent extremism, says Chris Coulter, head of FBA’s conflict prevention programme.

FBA has ongoing development cooperation strategy projects in Colombia, Liberia, Mali, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Africa south of the Sahara, and some work concerning youth, peace and security has already started.

Return to civilian life in Colombia

FBA has been working in Colombia for years with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants. Now FBA is looking into ways to enable youth who fought for some of the armed fractions in the war to adapt to a new civilian life and find a regular job, for instance by work training and education. About 35 percent of the population in Colombia is under the age of 20.

FBA also supports Peace Works, through grants from The Peace Million. Peace Works run a school in Bogotá together with local partners in order to strengthen young peace builders’ conflict management skills and their knowledge of human rights, principles of non-violence, communication and project management.

Democratic debate in Liberia

In Liberia, another war-torn country, some 40 percent of the population is under the age of 15 and the median age is 18. FBA contributes to a peaceful development by supporting youth participation in democratic debate. Youth as peace builders is an important element in Liberia, especially in relation to the coming national elections in the autumn of 2017. This year’s elections can result in the first democratic presidential transition in many years. Key individuals from the young community in Liberia have also been involved in FBA’s programme on dialogue and mediation.

Counter violent extremism

Part of the background to the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 is the rise of radicalization among young people. The increased use of the Internet to recruit youth to commit terrorist acts is a concern of the Security Council, who underlines the need for UN Member States to work together to prevent terrorists from exploiting youth. The Member States are encouraged to engage local communities and non-governmental actors to develop strategies to combat violent extremism.

The Swedish youth center Fryshuset has been granted support from FBA and The Peace Million to conduct education aimed at countering violent extremism. Fryshuset will, among other things, provide training for local authorities in Swedish municipalities to actively engage youth in conflict prevention.

Photo from Liberia: Brittany Danisch

MORE FROM HOME

“Leadership is vital to success”

All managers must be on board in order to create a gender equal organization. Therefore, FBA offers gender mainstreaming training and individual coaching for leaders in peace operations. The EU Police and Rule of Law Mission for the Palestinian Territory is one of the organizations receiving support from FBA.

2020-07-31 10:06

IN THE FIELD

Read our publications

Image description

Mitigating Election Violence through Dialogue and Mediation in West Africa

This brief discusses the role that dialogue and mediation training can play in addressing electoral violence, a serious problem to human life and democracy in many countries. Over fifty percent of the African states have experienced electoral violence since the 1990s.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
FBA
Year:
2020

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Randolph Rhea

    The evolution of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programs – from programs to processes

    South Sudan 2013

    The prop-plane bounces through turbulence and I am awoken. I gaze out the window at the landing strip. From high above it looks busy, with many aircraft on the ta­rmac. When we land I realize that all of the cargo planes, troop carriers, and small aircraft are actually all destroyed and the fuselages have merely been pushed to the side of the mortar-potted runway. The wounds of war are still fresh here.

    After several hours ... Read entire post »

    2020-07-08 08:37
  • Posted by Anna-Linn Ekenstierna

    Stories of partners and colleagues are what I bring with me

    “Your facilitation brought us to a safe space and process where we shared our stories, really listened to each other and learned from each other.”

    These are words that I bring with me as I say goodbye to partners and colleagues at the FBA this time around, heading for a new adventure.

    The feedback means a lot to me since it indicates that we achieved what we had set out to do. I and my colleagues at the ... Read entire post »

    2020-06-26 13:29
  • Posted by Susanna Rudehill

    20 years of women, peace and security – what do we have to celebrate?

    This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325), a groundbreaking step for gender equality in international peace and security. Nine resolutions have followed and together they make up what we today call the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.

    It’s not the first international framework for women’s rights and gender equality. So why is it called groundbreaking? Because the agenda for the first time recognized inequalities between women and men ... Read entire post »

    2020-06-10 10:23
Photo

Saba Nowzari

Saba Nowzari is expert on Mali, the Middle East and women, peace and security

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Photo

Our partner countries

FBA is part of Sweden’s development aid within the area of peace and security

Read more about the countries where we work

Twitter