NEW YORK – Saud Al Shamsi, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, has underlined the importance of young people as essential partners in achieving peace and security, at the open debate of the UN Security Council on Youth, Peace and Security.

In his statement, Mr. Al Shamsi confirmed that the UAE places importance on a more comprehensive notion of peace – focusing on the prevention of extremism and violence while also addressing it’s root causes. He underscored the importance of young women, saying that the Youth, Peace And Security Agenda should build on the successes of the Women, Peace And Security Agenda.

He highlighted the concrete steps the UAE has taken towards the meaningful inclusion of youth in decision-making, by appointing a young Minister of State for Youth Affairs, establishing youth councils at every level of government, and adopting a National Youth Strategy. These steps underpin an open policy of engagement, which is the cornerstone of nurturing a peaceful and thriving society.

Mr. Al Shamsi said that many of the challenges in the Middle East could not be solved without exploring the potential of youth and their active involvement, particularly in preventative efforts. He shed light on the UAE’s policy of preventing extremism before it turns violent by providing alternatives to the dangerous ideologies that have ensnared the Middle East.

He said, “Our role as policy -makers is to provide youth with the proper tools for success, such as a good education, competitive job markets, equal opportunities, and a nurturing environment – which are some of the factors that tip the scales in favor of growth and peace.”

Furthermore, he welcomed the efforts leading to the Secretary-General’s Progress Study on the topic, as mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), and commended the valuable assessments and recommendations on the formulation of youth policies.