Finn Church Aid: The role of young people in peacebuilding was finally recognised

The resolution on Youth, Peace and Security adopted yesterday by the UN Security Council recognises the role of young people in preventing and resolving conflicts. It also warns against the rise of violent radicalisation and extremism among youth. The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers was involved in the preparation of the resolution as a member of The Interagency Working Group for Youth, Peace and Security.

Youth-related problems cannot be solved without including young people in the decision-making forums.

“This resolution is an important symbolic recognition of the fact that young people are not part of the problem, but part of the solution”, says Aaro Rytkönen, Head of Secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. Finn Church Aid (FCA) acts as the Secretariat of the Network.

The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers was involved in drafting the resolution in Amman, Jordan, earlier this year. The Amman Youth Declaration, adopted in August this year, was a step towards the inclusion of young people in peace processes.

“Despite the important role youth and youth-led organisations globally play in peacebuilding, their work lacks recognition and adequate support”, says Network Coordinator Paula Tarvainen, who was also present in Amman.

The resolution calls on national governments, local authorities and civil society organisations to recognise and support the peacebuilding work young people are already doing to prevent violent radicalisation and extremism.

“The existing resources and networks of young people should be utilised in this work at the local and international levels. For example, young people are the best at designing youth-engaging initiatives directed against violent radicalisation. Including young people in peacebuilding raises the chances of success and the impact of the work”, Tarvainen says.

“Finnish civil society organisations, and youth organisations in particular, have plenty of expertise to offer in developing young people’s engagement both regionally and globally”, Rytkönen says.

Preventing the violent radicalisation of young people is the theme for FCA’s campaign this year.

Further information:

Paula Tarvainen, tel. +358 40 668 3671, Network Coordinator, Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers