UNFPA, United Nations Population in collaboration with UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Peacebuilding Support Office organized a consultation on Youth, Peace and Security in Hammamet, Tunisia from March 30th to April 1st 2017. with the participation of Mrs. Majdoline El Cherni, Minster of Youth and Sport in Tunisia and United Nations resident coordinators of Tunisia and Libya.
The consultation included 32 young men and women from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, whom are active players within their communities in promoting peacebuilding.
This consultation comes as a follow up of a research carried out jointly by UNFPA and UNESCO in the Arab region on the effective participation of young men and women in conflict prevention and social peace-building, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2250. This resolution aims to reflect youth’s opinions and suggestions into policies and country programs, and urge them to have a key role in peace processes and conflict resolution.
“We cannot talk about progress in any country without involving young generation in the decision-making,” said Dr. Louay Shabaneh, UNFPA Director for the Arab Region, “Let us always remember what young Arabs requested in recent years from work opportunities to a future that respects their rights and dignity. All countries should establish national policies that protect young people against all forms of marginalization and exclusion, which create a feeling of frustration. Also remember that health and especially reproductive health and youth empowerment should be included in all articles of the economic and social programs”
In reality and practice, UNFPA emphasizes on the importance of correlating population policies to the economic, social and health policies in terms of youth empowerment. For this, education, employment and reproductive health information will support them make decisions about the youth priorities, including the age of marriage and the number of children they want to have.
“Let our voice be heard, is an initiative that we started in Libya. We want to make the voice of youth heard. We want to show that we can be a role model for politicians and all Libyan through dialogue, that we can come together, peacefully discus and solve our problems, despite any differences. We, The youth were and are the messenger of peace in Libya and the rest of the word” added Mohamed, a young Libyan activist who took part of in the consultation on Youth, Peace and Conflict.