We, young people from around the globe reaffirm our commitment to living in a peaceful and safe world. With more young people on the planet than ever before, it is a demographic and democratic necessity that we are included in efforts to promote peace and security. In this Declaration, we provide a unified vision and plan for a reinforced policy framework to assist us in changing conflict, preventing and confronting violence, and establishing long-term peace.
This Declaration was written by young peace advocates and is the result of intensive consultations to guarantee an inclusive and comprehensive approach to Youth, Peace and Security.
In this regard, we:
Build on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, including UN Security Council Resolutions 2250, 2419 and 2535 on Youth, Peace and Security and acknowledge that the main responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter is to maintain international peace and security;
Refer to the importance of recognizing and supporting the role of youth in the fulfillment of the goal 16 of the United Nations’ Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda;
Recall the importance of the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding in creating a foundation that ensures young people’s participation and contribution to building peace, including in conflict and post-conflict contexts;
Recognise that we, youth, are engaged in shaping lasting peace in our communities as positive contributors to peace, justice and reconciliation;
Acknowledge the ongoing work of governments at national and international levels as well as non-governmental organizations to engage youth in building peace;
Recognize the vulnerable status of many young people including refugees and internally displaced persons;
Shift of Perspective
Recognising the value of young people as peacebuilders and humanitarian actors in their communities and above.
Stakeholders: Media, governmental organizations, think-tanks, policy-makers.
- Push for a change in the narrative of traditional and non-traditional mainstream media;
- Showcase data proving that the majority of cases of violence are not started by the Youth and that Young People in their majority are peacebuilders;
- Promote the awareness of international institutions and peacebuilding institutions upon the narrative of youth positive peace leadership at the local level;
- Engage with Universities and High-Schools to show the Youth their role in peacebuilding and creativity while getting them to understand the important positive role they play in their community.
- Provide the youth with the technical training for them to be agents of positive change;
- Create channels allowing the youth to raise their voices in regards to policies around the world;
- Encourage and create avenues for non-English speaking youth to pursue peacebuilding in their respective communities.
Ensuring youth inclusive approaches and leadership in peacebuilding and decision making. Governments have to provide safer environments for meaningful participation of youth in peacebuilding, post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction processes.
Stakeholders: Local, state, federal government and parliament.
- Create a dedicated unit for Youth, Peace and Security for the success of the peace process. Those ministries can promote the role of art, theatre and sports in youth peacebuilding. Also, using arts and sports as a medium to reintegrate the young ex-combatants into their communities. It is important to integrate Youth, Peace and Security resolution in government policies to legalise youth participation;
- Ensure at least thirty percent of youth participation in parliaments and the elected institutions at the local, state, and regional levels. The proper installation of Grievance Redressal Mechanism at the government institutions can effectively address the challenges faced by youth in peacebuilding.
- Guarantee adequate mental health support is given to the young peacebuilders who are affected by traumas and other mental health issues;
- Provide opportunities for young people to have intergenerational dialogues with the elder to learn from the past;
- Pledge for freedom of speech and fundamental rights of young peacebuilders are protected;
- Implement youth-sensitive budgets for the peacebuilding process and ensure adequate contributions are given to the implementation of peace initiatives;
- Establish proper communication methods to reach out to young people;
- Vouch for equal participation of vulnerable and marginalized groups such as women, refugees, indigenous people, disabled persons, and LGBTQ+ communities during the peace process.
Investing in sustainable, intersectional equitable funding for youth-led organisations working on Youth, Peace and Security.
Stakeholders: Private sector, for-profit companies, philanthropic foundations, local, state, and federal agencies.
- Challenge with financing for Youth Peace and Security, Sustainable Development Goals and youth civil society organisations as there is limited funding available especially in the grassroots levels;
- Inflexible donor terms for Youth Peace and Security funding;
- Set a portion or percentage for supporting youth peace leadership and initiatives.
Call for Action
- Making youth-sensitive funding accessible for Youth, Peace and Security;
- Calling the international donor community to co-design and co-share the decisions with young people on grant making and where resources are invested;
- Including a young advisor from communities affected by refugee crisis and displacement in the decision-making team;
- Empowering young women and ensuring spaces for safe engagement;
- Instrumentalizing youths and youth-led organisations in emergency humanitarian works;
- Aligning with the latest discourses on decolonization of aid and peacebuilding.
Highlighted above are some of the key requirements for a policy framework supporting youth participation in peacebuilding. To this end, the media, governmental organizations, think-tanks, policymakers, local authorities, national governments, donors, civil society and other actors, must take urgent measures to support young people as actors in preventing and transforming conflict, countering violent extremism and building peace by implementing the action points in this Declaration.
As young people from the Erasmus + Peacebuilder Network, we commit to proactively stand for peace, prevent conflicts, negotiate and build a network of peace advocates. We commit to working together with all stakeholders in order to build peace around the world. We commit to monitoring the implementation of this declaration.
JOIN US! CO-SIGN THE DECLARATION NOW. VISIT: https://erasmuspeacebuilding.org