New tools are needed to promote the active participation of youth in all aspects of life and to ensure prospects for peaceful and democratic social change in the world. For this reason The United Nations Security Council should adopt a resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.
More than the half of world’s population today is under the age of 30. Global youth unemployment rate has reached its highest peak for decades. It has been estimated that approximately 1.3 billion young people will enter the global labor market during the next decade, but only 300 million are expected to be employed.
The close interrelationship between social justice, sustainable development, human rights and peace is present in the daily life of the world’s youth. High levels of unemployment, social exclusion and growing discontent amongst the world’s youth are not only acute problems of social development, but may also trigger severe regional and global unrest. Thus it is of great importance that young people are integrated into decision-making processes on regional, national and international levels. If no hope of a better future is within sight, facilitating sustainable and peaceful social change becomes near impossible. Consequently, empowering young people is not simply a matter of equality or justice, but one of global peace and security. The UN Security Council resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) should serve as an example for a new SC resolution in which youth plays an essential role as a specified group in need of more attention and protection from the international community.
Youth participation in decision-making on all levels is the key in achieving peaceful resolutions of difficult situations. Youth organizations play an important role in the process of global social change and serve as a much-needed link between youth around the globe. Therefore youth participation in associations and voluntary youth movements need to be secured. Through this we can genuinely incorporate youth in peace-building efforts and processes which aim at balancing and easing the quality of life for many.
Peace and human rights are global values which unite youngsters all around the world. However, justice and equality between generations has to be the first step in acknowledging the role of the youth as a specific, vulnerable group in peace processes and all peace-building efforts. Empowering and involving youth is a prerequisite to lasting peace.
(Picture: United Nations Association of Finland / Maria Soramo)