Thank you to Ireland, Ecuador and Ghana for organizing this meeting, and thank you to the briefers for sharing their expertise
We have seen youth across the globe mobilise around global issues like climate change, human rights, peace, and democracy.
It is obvious that sustainable peace will be impossible without meaningful inclusion of young people. Through Norway’s own involvement in peace and reconciliation in Colombia, the Philippines, Sudan and South Sudan, we have seen this first-hand.
Many countries in conflict have very young populations.
Strengthening our conviction that the implementation of resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, or YPS, is of critical importance.
Allow me to highlight three global initiatives Norway has taken with our partners in this regard:
First- Norway supports strengthening the African Union-UN partnership on the meaningful inclusion of youth. Including in the implementation of the flagship program “Silencing the Guns” and the “10-Year Implementation Plan for the Continental Framework on YPS, 2020-2029”.
We must support African solutions for youth inclusion.
Second- Protection of civilians is one of five pillars in resolution 2250. And we have taken an active role in promoting the Children and Armed Conflict agenda, including as Chair of the Working Group- which has critical synergies with YPS.
And Third- In the UN Group of Friends on Preventing Violent Extremism, co-chaired by Jordan and Norway, we share lessons learned and best practices for including youth in national strategies to prevent violent extremism.
As has been highlighted by many young peacebuilders, including Nynar Kuol today, youth engagement is too often done in a tokenistic manner. This is counterproductive. Meaningful involvement must be a genuine cross-cutting priority in all our peace and development efforts. In this regard, the important contributions of young women in building sustainable peace should be recognised and supported.
Furthermore, young peacebuilders stress the importance of supporting community dialogue and connecting work at the grassroots level with national and regional policy processes. The Peacebuilding Fund, supported by Norway since its inception, does excellent work in this regard. And we encourage Member States to ensure adequate funding of the PBF.
Allow me to end by welcoming the establishment of the UN Youth Office, an important priority under Our Common Agenda. Let us make the Youth Office an important vehicle for promoting the YPS agenda going forward.