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Youth, Peace and Security: Guterres, in time of crisis tap youth talent; Italy, “they are key for SDGs implementation”

NEW YORK, APRIL 27 – Even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries must do more to harness the talents of young people to address the crisis and its aftermath, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council on Monday during a videoconference meeting to review the five years since its adoption of a landmark resolution on youth, peace and security.

In presenting his first report on Security Council Resolution 2250, the U.N. chief listed how COVID-19 has impacted the world’s young people, with more than 1.5 billion of them now out of the classroom. He issued a four-point call to action for the Council, urging members to do more to address the various challenges facing young people and called for investment in youth participation, but also in their organizations and initiatives.

“Young people are a vital driver for peace, change, and prosperity. Italy is fully committed to bring forward the implementation of the Youth Peace and Security Agenda and to foster synergies with the Women Peace and Security Agenda, as both women and youth face similar challenges to their meaningful participation in the decision making, and share common vulnerabilities”, Italy said today during the open debate.

“Young people are a vital driver for peace, change, and prosperity. Their specific sensitivity and forward-looking approaches, their natural desire for justice and inclusion, as well as their prominent motivation, enthusiasm and energy can meaningfully contribute to building and sustaining peace, providing long-term sustainable solutions and fostering conflict prevention and reconciliation.” was the message conveyed by the Italian Permanent Representative to the U.N., Mariangela Zappia.

The Youth, Peace and Security Agenda was launched in 2015 through Security Council resolution 2250: “From the outset, we have fully supported the Youth 2030 Strategy and we were the first Member State to provide financial support to the Office of the SG’s Envoy on Youth after her appointment”, said Zappia: “In our vision, youth policies represent the best link between the Peace and Security Agenda and the 2030 Agenda”. To support this view, Italy is conducting a multi-country initiative in partnership with UNDESA for “Promoting sustainable peace through national youth policies” , which is currently under implementation in 3 countries and includes the constitution of national and local youth led “Youth, Peace and Security Civil Society Coalitions”.

Italy has constantly engaged in empowering young people and enabling them to make their voices heard. Every year, since 2017, the Italian Government has been appointing two Youth Delegates who – through a nation-wide advocacy action as well as by participating in UN meetings – help promote the active participation of the youngest generations in decision-making, peacebuilding and reconciliation processes. Furthermore, in 2019 Italy dedicated our contribution to the Trust Fund in support of the UN Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding to initiatives in support of the participation of women and youth in peace processes.

In the same spirit, in preparation of the next COP26, Italy is organizing the youth event “Youth4Climate 2020: driving ambition”, which will focus, inter alia, on the impact of climate change on peace and security.

In the firm belief that there is a strong link between peace, security and the respect of human rights, Italy considers fundamental not only to ensure the protection of all human rights for young people, but also to strengthen their active role in the promotion of human rights within the societies. Italy is a member of the Human Rights Council’s core group for the resolution “Youth and Human Rights” which aims at promoting new initiatives for an effective, structured and sustainable participation of youth in relevant decision-making process.

To read Ambassador Zappia’s statement in fullFull statement click here. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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