The United Nations recognises that young people can be a driving force for supporting development and contributing to peace and security when provided the necessary skills and opportunities needed to reach their potential. With political commitment and adequate resources, young people have the potential to make the most effective transformation of the world into a better place for all.
The Non-Aligned Movement has consistently emphasized the need for the involvement of all segments of society in peace processes, in particular the youth, who can play an important role in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts and in building peaceful and resilient societies. NAM firmly believes that inclusivity is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.
At the Eighteenth Summit, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 25 and 26 October 2019, under the theme “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure a concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”, the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement considered ways to increase meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in peacebuilding efforts through creating policies, including in partnership with the private sector, where relevant, that would enhance youth capacities and skills, and create youth employment to actively contribute to sustaining peace.
NAM recognises that building and sustaining peace through the transformative potential of young people demands a seismic shift and bold reorientation from Governments and the multilateral system. This requires making the shift to a comprehensive violence prevention approach with young people at its centre. Systematically addressing the violence of exclusion is the best means to prevent violence, including violent extremism, thus building and sustaining peace across the full peace and conflict continuum.
NAM attaches significance to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2419 adopted on June 6 2018. Resolution 2419 calls on all relevant actors to consider ways for increasing the representation of young people when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, recognizing that their marginalization was detrimental to building sustainable peace and countering violent extremism, as and when conducive to terrorism.
The Resolution reaffirmed the primary responsibility of National Governments and authorities in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and emphasizes that inclusivity, including by ensuring full and effective participation of youth without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status is key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account.
In accordance with the Resolution 2419, NAM recognises that youth and youth led civil society can also play an important role in efforts to peacebuilding and sustaining peace. NAM has reaffirmed the obligation of States to respect, promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, including youth, and ensure equal access to justice and preserve the integrity of rule of law institutions; and foster an enabling and safe environment for youth working on peace and security.
Thus, NAM believes that States must respect, promote and protect the human rights of all individuals, including youth, within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction as provided for by relevant international law and reaffirms that each State bears the primary responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
NAM also recognises the role of youth in promoting a culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue that aims at discouraging their participation in acts of violence, terrorism, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination and reiterates that efforts to counter terrorist narratives can benefit through engagement with a wide range of actors, including youth and youth led civil society.
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