Recognizing the threat to stability and development posed by the rise of radicalization among young people, the Security Council today urged Member States to consider ways to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2250 (2015), which defined youth as persons aged 18 through 29, the Council also urged Member States to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes and dispute resolution.
Prior to its adoption, Jordan’s representative, Dina Kawar, said the resolution — considered the first of its kind on youth, peace and security — followed efforts by the Prince of Jordan, public discussions on combating violent extremism, and the Global Forum on Youth Peace and Security that took place in Amman in August.
“What we seek is to draw the world’s attention to ensure that young people are given the attention they deserve at a time when the world is a theatre for an increasing number of negative issues,” she said.
By the terms of its resolution, the Council recognized that today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known, and accounted for many of those civilians affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and displaced persons.
But it expressed concern over the increased use of the Internet by terrorists and their supporters to recruit and incite youth to commit terrorist acts, and underlined the need for Member States to work together to prevent terrorists from exploiting new technologies.
Youth, the Council said, should be actively engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, as they represented “a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and prosperity” if inclusive policies were put in place.
Member States were encouraged to engage local communities and non-governmental actors “in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist narrative that can incite terrorist acts”. They were also encouraged to address conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism by empowering youth, families, women, religious, cultural and education leaders and other concerned groups in civil society, and by adopting “tailored approaches” to counter recruitment to violent extremism.
By other terms, the resolution called for the participation and views of youth to be taken into account during the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements, as their marginalization would be detrimental to building sustainable peace in such aspects as repatriation, resettlement and reconstruction.