New York – 27 April 2020 – During the open debate of the UN Security Council on the fifth anniversary of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda, the UAE encouraged the Council to invite more young leaders to brief on a regular basis to reflect on individual experiences while pursuing peace and security in their societies. The UAE also urged the international community to explore ways to increase the meaningful and inclusive participation of youth in peacebuilding efforts. 

The debate commemorated the fifth anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 2250 (2015), a groundbreaking resolution that recognized the important and positive role that young people play in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.

“Since the adoption of resolution 2250, the world has seen the many ways in which young people are creatively seeking to prevent violence and consolidate peace across the globe, in devastated and conflict-affected societies as well as in those enjoying relative peace,” the UAE stated in the formal submission to the Security Council.. “Their work heralds the tremendous potential of peace and security dividends for all.”

 The UAE highlighted how youth in the country are stepping up to help in national efforts to combat the global COVID-19 crisis. Young people are contributing to the response by taking emergency response training and safety workshops and participating in the national sterilization program to disinfect the main cities to curb the spread of the virus.

The UAE noted that since the appointment of H.E. Shamma Al Mazrui as Minister of State for Youth Affairs in 2016, several mechanisms and initiatives have been institutionalized, steps which underpin the open policy of engagement. This includes the establishment of youth councils and the adoption of a National Youth Strategy developed and championed by young Emiratis.

At the regional level, the UAE underlined that young people are partners in the quest for more peaceful and prosperous cities and not the stereotype that associates them with violence that continues to be widespread and contagious. They highlighted the “Empowering Youth and Promoting Tolerance: Practical Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism” regional conference by the UAE, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and Hedayah which was held in Abu Dhabi in December 2019. 

The conference provided an opportunity to discuss initiatives and action plans to strengthen resilience against radicalization leading to terrorism, with a focus on youth empowerment and tolerance at the national and regional levels. The UAE also noted that it is home to initiatives like the Arab Youth Center which provides opportunities for young Arab pioneers across different fields to mobilize their peers and advance sustainable development in their communities.