Delivered by: Maha Harqoos, First Secretary
First, I thank Ghana for convening this meeting on “Reinforcing the Implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda for a Safe and Stable Africa”, and the briefers for enriching our discussion today.
I take this opportunity to renew the UAE’s firm commitment to UN resolutions related to the advancement of youth in peace and security. In this context, we look forward to commemorating the anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 next December. This is a historic initiative led by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to enhance youth participation in peace and security and increase their representation in decision-making processes to prevent and resolve conflicts.
As many speakers before me pointed out, the youth of Africa have proven to be the most important resource for the continent and the driving force towards stability, development, and prosperity. Therefore, it is important to continue discussing ways to support, empower, and provide them with opportunities, in addition to working to address the challenges they face in various political, economic, and security. In this context, I would like to highlight four points:
First, youth must be given real opportunities to participate in peace-making and peace building, including listening to their opinions and ideas on ways to address regional and international issues and crises which usually leave great impact on their lives. Therefore, the UAE calls for the continued implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda, especially by the Security Council. We encourage prioritizing youth participation in the Council’s briefings when discussing relevant international issues, which will deepen our understanding of youth experiences in all stages of conflict and ways to enhance their role in addressing it.
Second, we must focus on the valuable contributions of young people in promoting a culture of dialogue and tolerance and addressing hate speech, extremism, and racism. Platforms and resources must be provided that allow them to play an active role in this aspect, and I would like here to refer to Security Council Resolution 2686 on “tolerance and international peace and security”, which highlights the importance of empowering individuals, including youth, to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence to support and sustain peace-building efforts.
Third, the Security Council and the UN system can encourage enhanced cooperation with regional institutions for youth empowerment at the local, regional, and international levels, by supporting youth initiatives, such as the Continental Framework for Youth, Peace, and Security and the 10-Year Implementation Plan, and the appointment of the first Special Envoy African Youth Union. The African Union Program for Peace and National Action Plans can also enrich the knowledge and perspectives of institutions concerned with youth, which can contribute to bringing about positive change on the ground.
Fourth and last, it is necessary to continue supporting and empowering youth and developing their capabilities through strengthening coordination between youth, peace, and security activities in the United Nations system, including monitoring the implementation of relevant Council resolutions. In this regard, we look forward to the active participation of the United Nations Office for Youth in the areas of peace, security, sustainable development, and human rights, as we encourage the Office to make more efforts to provide greater support to Member States by the United Nations on youth issues.