Youth Dialogue on Peace and SecurityAug 21, 2017
The United Nations recognizes the invaluable role of young people as agents of change, progress, and development. This role is celebrated every year on the International Youth Day; an occasion to re-affirm the Member States’ commitment towards nurturing and supporting their young. One of the best ways of achieving this is by providing young people with effective platforms to raise their voices and giving them opportunities to emerge as harbingers of positive change and development. This year, the International Youth Day is committed to ‘celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace’. This is in line with United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 and 2282 that acknowledge young people’s crucial roles in ‘deterring and resolving conflicts’.
In line with this global theme for 2017, UNDP Pakistan celebrated the International Youth Day by organizing a ‘Youth Dialogue on Peace and Security’ in Pakistan. The event was organized on August 16, 2017 in Karachi, Peshawar, and Quetta and engaged young people from universities, youth led civil society groups, young representatives of minority communities in Pakistan, and youth with disabilities. The participants highlighted the positive role that young people from the three provinces and FATA can play to build peace and social cohesion in Pakistan. They foregrounded their importance as a large and dynamic segment of the country’s population with genuine stakes in Pakistan’s stability and prosperity. They especially stressed on the crucial need for providing them with platforms for voicing their grievances and participating in the decision-making process to ensure that future development policies do not exclude the potentially positive role that young people can play in ensuring peace and security in Pakistan.
With more than 31% of its population aged between 15- 29 years, Pakistan is poised to enter an era of progress and prosperity if young people are provided with opportunities for economic growth and positive engagement. The Dialogue is a step towards underscoring the role of young people in preventing violent extremism and securing peace in Pakistan.
The Youth Dialogue for Peace and Security was supported by the Youth Empowerment Programme, an umbrella initiative encompassing UNDP Pakistan’s four major projects working on young people’s uplift in the country by creating pathways for economic growth and positive engagement. The initiative is being implemented in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, and Balochistan.