Not only are Young people now part of solutions to issues affecting their countries, but also leading critical actions across Africa especially around the promotion of Peace and Security. Despite this recognition, there have been no coherent, intentional and structured efforts to harness these potentials in the continent until the launch of Youth for Peace Africa (Y4PAfrica) program in Lagos, Nigeria in September 2018, by the Peace and Security Department (PSD) of the African Union. While it is important to acknowledge the adoption and ratification of the African Youth Charter by several African Union (AU) member states, and the UNSCR 2250 & 2419, it is necessary to equally recognize the Communiqué of the 665th meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on the activities of the AU Panel of the Wise for the year 2016 of 13 March 2017, which called for the mainstreaming of Youth in all tracks of mediation and conflict prevention.
It was upon these successes that the African Union Commission organized a workshop on Youth contributions to Peace and Security to commemorate the African Union Youth Day which is usually celebrated on November 1 of every year. This year’s celebration and the workshop has become historic for two amazing reasons:
The African Union Commission appointed the First ever African Union Youth Envoy, a young revolutionary
Tunisian, Aya Chebbi, and it was a opportunity to celebrate her appointment;
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union convened an open session on Youth, Peace and
Security to appreciate the contributions of youths to the promotion of sustainable peace and security.
The Workshop which was organized on November 7 – 8, 2018, began with presentations from Youth organizations present on their contributions to Peace and security, after which the contributions were consolidated into a Youth Statement to be presented during the PSC open session on Youth, Peace and Security.
The Youth statement presented to the PSC is attached Final Version of Youth Address to PSC Open Session on Youth Peace and Security (2)
There were also training on Program Design, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Peace and Security Programmes – PMT, and on Communication of Peace and Security Interventions, before the concluding brainstorming session on the way forward.
The PSC Open session was declared open by the Chairperson of the PSC for November, Ambassador Mohammed Idriss Farah from Djibouti, and was attended by Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; the members of the Council; the Representatives of UN Security Council and EU; Representatives of RECs; Representatives of Youth Organizations and several others.
Pan-African Youth Network for a Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP) was represented by its Chairperson, Ekene Johnpaul Ikwelle from Nigeria; the National Coordinator for DR Congo, Didier Masia; an outstanding member of the network, Marylene Mbie Bengone from Gabon; and two Founding members, Victor Ochen ( 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee) from Uganda, and Ibrahim Cessay (Executive Director of AAPI) from Gambia.
The communiqué of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) open session, which is the 807th meeting of the Council can be accessed here http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/communique-of-the-807th-meeting-of-the-peace-and-security-council-psc-on-youth-peace-and-security
The Youth for Peace (Youth4Peace) Africa is now live