Information about Young Peacebuilders Forum
UNOY Peacebuilders’ annual Young Peacebuilders Forum will take place in The Hague from 20 to 24 September. The YPF will bring together 45 young peacebuilders to learn from each other’s experiences across the world and to develop joint strategies to strengthen youth participation in peace and security policies.
The theme of the Young Peacebuilders Forum 2016 is Youth, Policy and Peace. We will explore how we can ensure that our needs and experiences are reflected in inclusive policies that enable youth to play an active role in building peace and countering violent extremism
Participants must be aged between 18 and 30 and fluent in English. Both UNOY Peacebuilders member organisations and non-members are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to participants who:
- have experience in the fields related to peacebuilding and conflict transformation
- are currently active in a youth peace organisation
- are committed to multiply the outcomes of the activity in their own work
The selection of participants will be based on applicant’s’ motivation and experience, as well as gender balance and geographical diversity.
Due to funding restrictions the majority of participants will come from Europe. However we encourage non-European peacebuilders to apply as we will have some positions available for non-European participants.
Accommodation and food are fully covered apart from a participation fee of € 50/person. Travel costs will be covered by 70%. The forum is supported by the Council of Europe.
Application Deadline: Saturday 9 July
Date of Selection: Friday 15 July
The Vision of Young Peacebuilders Forum
UNOY Peacebuilders is a global network strengthening sustainable youth-driven peacebuilding. We connect 70 youth peace organizations across 45 countries.
Our goal is to create a world where young people have the opportunity and skills to contribute to peace. We work to strengthen youth-led peacebuilding initiatives, facilitate a safe space for dialogue and conflict transformation, develop the organizational capacities of our members and to bring the voices of young people to policy makers on a regional and global level.
We support youth peacebuilding organizations and to build their capacities. This will further enable them to become more effective in mobilizing youth to become constructive, pro-active and non-violent agents of change addressing root causes and the impact of violence in their communities.
We advocate for increased youth participation in peacebuilding, in the shape of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 that recognizes and addresses the specific needs, assets, potentials, and experiences of youth in (post-) conflict scenarios. Such a resolution gives recognition to the work by young peacebuilders, ensure support to young peacebuilders and put pressure on governments to meaningfully involve young people in issues of peace and security.
Youth Impact is an on-going partnership of five European UNOY Peacebuilders members and the UNOY secretariat focusing on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in youth peacebuilding organisations.
SHAPING POLICY AND PRACTICE
We bring the voices of young peacebuilders to the attention of international policy-makers, advocating for increased youth participation in peacebuilding and a culture of peace. The focus of our advocacy work is towards the United Nations, as resolutions and policies developed at the UN set a global standard for peace and development. One of the long term goals of our advocacy work which we achieved in 2015 was the adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security.
An important part of our international advocacy work is carried out by our Youth Advocacy Team. The team consists of representatives of our member organisations, young peacebuilders active in their own local communities making their voice heard globally through the Youth Advocacy Team. Additionally, we have permanent advocacy representatives based in New York and Geneva who work on a voluntary basis to represent young peacebuilders towards different United Nations bodies.
In order to successfully reach our advocacy goals, UNOY works together with partners such as the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Peacebuilding Support Office, the UN Intra-Agency Network on Youth Development Sub-Working Group on Youth Participation in Peacebuilding, Cordaid, Human Security Collective, UN Habitat, Search for Common Ground, World Vision, UNFPA and many other international stakeholders. In addition, we are members of the Global Partnership on Children, Youth and Peacebuilding and the International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations.
Apart from the international level, UNOY member organizations are crucial to successful local, national and regional advocacy. Most UNOY members are engaged in advocating for peace locally, and significant numbers of members work at both national and regional levels to make the voices of young peacebuilders heard.
Most important issues on Young Peacebuilders Forum
Currently, the motivation to incorporate youth in issues of peace and security is born primarily out of a perception of youth as a potential security threat, instead of a desire to work with youth as equal partners. There is also a tendency by decision makers to talk about youth, rather than work with youth. Infrastructure and institutions need to acknowledge the needs and aspirations of youth to ensure meaningful youth participation in peacebuilding processes, and to offer meaningful avenues for young people to shape the future of their countries.
Ensuring the active, systemic, and meaningful participation of youth in issues of peace and security is a demographic and democratic imperative. It is also a way of preventing armed conflict. Studies show that social exclusion is an important factor that triggers a relapse into violent conflict. Furthermore, participation in decision making supports young people’s resilience in the face of social pressures, giving them a sense of belonging.
Young men’s and young women’s participation in peacebuilding is a largely untapped resource. Their actual contribution and further potential, as a key to durable and inclusive peace, stability and economic prosperity, should be valued, recognised, and supported. The inclusion of young people will have an influence on all social, economic and political sectors at the family, school and community levels of society.
There must be a shift from distraction to interaction and from passive partnership to participatory partnership. This shift needs to alter the perception of youth as sources of conflict to seeing them as resources for peace and development, and from asking them to wait to asking them to lead the way. Young people need to be included as partners for peace...
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