The Peacebuilding Commission: Youth, Peace, and Security

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Odd-Inge Kvalheim, at the UN Peacebuilding Commission virtual meeting on Youth, Peace, and Security, 24 February 2021.

Thank you, Mr. Chair. And many thanks to the SGs Envoy on Youth, Ms Wickramanayake, and to you dear Oscar. It was certainly inspiring listening to the presentations of Ms. Estipona and mr. Akhigbe on youth-led advocacy towards a just and sustainable peace in the Philippines and Nigeria.

Through Norway`s involvement in peace and reconciliation efforts in the Philippines, Colombia, South-Sudan and many other countries, we have seen the importance of including, at an early stage, young women and men in peace negotiations and the resolution of conflict.

It is a key priority for Norway to lift young women and men’s capacity and competence in conflict prevention and peacebuilding - as well as highlighting the vulnerability of youth in crisis situations, war and conflict. And to contribute to their protection.

We see - in so many conflicts around the world - the detrimental effect of marginalizing youth. In the UN Group of Friends of Preventing Violent Extremism, which is co-chaired by Jordan and Norway, we share lessons learned and best practices for including youth and civil society in national strategies to prevent violent extremism.

There is still a substantial way to go in implementing the YPS agenda, both in terms of meaningful participation and inclusion and in providing predictable and flexible funding to youth-led organizations. At the same time we see that the recognition of young people as positive forces in preventing and resolving conflict and building peace - has gained significant momentum.

One year since the last ambassadorial-level meeting on this topic, we can note several concrete measures, such as the Strategic Action Plan on youth and peacebuilding – as well as the initiative to create a YPS handbook, that supports concrete implementation of the agenda.

I would particularly highlight the merit of doing youth-sensitive conflict analyses, which provides insights into the specific situation of youth, the context, and interlinkages between age and conflict dynamics and opportunities for peace.

This is one of the areas where appropriate linkages between the work in the PBC and UN Security Council is key. Norway will use our term as a member of the UN Security Council working to ensure that youth- and gender-sensitive analyses form the base for the Council’s decision making.

We will stay in close contact with the office of the SG envoy on youth, youth focal points in the UN country teams - and young peacebuilders. We will promote inviting young peacebuilders to consult the Council, in alignment with resolution 2535. Norway will actively search for relevant voices that can be brought in, through contact with the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), YouthCan, LNU (Norway) and other relevant civil society organizations.

And we will work to integrate lessons learned from country situations into the Security Council’s work for youth, peace and security, particularly in gender and age-sensitive conflict analyses.

Chair, we thank you for convening such a useful and substantive meeting, I can ensure you of Norway’s commitment to implement the youth, peace and security agenda.