Youth Voices in Peace: How Resolution 2419 Reaffirms this Important Idea
By: Benjamin Lutz
Youth’s role in peacebuilding is quintessential as they are the voices of tomorrow and the mediators of today. In most instances of societal and/or community-based conflict, the parents of youth are engaged in opposing viewpoints, trickling these views onto the children. By engaging the youth in conflict resolution, reconciliation, engagement, and peace activities, it can allow for a reverse trickle effect onto the parents and adults within the community. Seeing youth collaborate, engage, and cooperate can promote a more peaceful society and swifter resolution to these types of conflicts.
This viewpoint was just reaffirmed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Resolution 2419. In summary this Resolution “Calls for Increasing Role of Youth in Negotiating, Implementing Peace Agreements.” It makes an international understanding and commitment to the power and role that youth have in transforming conflict situations as a result of their unique status in society.
Most every society actively hopes for a better future for the children. Conflict zones sometimes overlooks this main desire as educational services can be halted as a result of the conflict. Ensuring a continued access to education will dramatically enhance the society, as the children will have the best information to truly become the leaders of their community.
Even during conflict times, children have immense power within their communities. They understand the local needs and wants of the community; albeit maybe not as fully as their parents, the children can recognize what needs to be changed within their society. Most children are not represented in negotiations of and the potential implementation of peace treaties and agreements. The Resolution 2419 highlights that the marginalization of children in these initiatives can be detrimental to building sustainable peace and countering violent extremism. Youth’s participation in processes as disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration are interlinked community violence reduction programs.
Seeing this affirmation from the UNSC highlights the understanding of the power of youth’s voices, participation, and engagement in peace processes. Alongside the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of 2030, this resolution encourages international peacemakers to not overlook the children in the society, as they largely may be the missing step in solidifying and sustaining peace.