A study by Graeme Simpson The Missing Piece: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, gives policymakers compelling reason to rethink ways of engaging young people around the world – breaking the mind-set that perceives youth as victims or perpetrators of violence but instead as peacebuilders and change makers. The study sought the opinions and experiences of over 4,000 youth in 27 countries on the emerging policy space of youth, peace and security. Bringing to life the experiences, needs and concerns of young people from across the world, it should be seen as a roadmap for the UN and member states to deliver on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) on youth, peace and security.The author highlights that the far-reaching recommendations should not be seen as end goals but as the beginning of a global effort to redress policy shortcomings around youth. The author made three main recommendations: First, it is vital to invest in young people’s capacities, agency and leadership through substantial funding support, network-building and capacity-strengthening, recognizing the full diversity of youth and the ways young people organize. Second, the systems that reinforce exclusion must be transformed in order to address the structural barriers limiting youth participation in peace and security. Third, partnerships and collaborative action, where young people are viewed as equal and essential partners for peace, must be prioritized.
By Felix Kiptoo