Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Project Nigeria on Friday called for support for youths to be drivers of the implementation process of the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda in the country.
Mr Rafiu Lawal, an activist, made the call at a news conference to commemorate the International Day of Peace with the theme “End Racism ,Build Peace” in Abuja.
Lawal said that for an effective implementation of YPS, there ought to inter-generational cooperation among all stakeholders, therefore, youths should not just be beneficiaries alone but also drivers of the process.
SUSO programme is an initiative aimed to empower young people with information and grassroots mobilisation skills to participate meaningfully in socio-political development to amplify youth voices and influence polices.
He said that the programme is being implemented with 20 Youth activists in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu State empowering youths with digital skills and resources to carry activism to drive social change.
He said the on Dec. 9, 2015, the United Nations Security adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth Peace and Security which recognises the critical role youths play in peace process.
Lawal said Resolutions 2419 and 2235 were also adopted to emphasise the need to include youth in peace related dialogues, adding that the Federal Governent adopted a National Action Plan on it.
He said the action plan provided a clear roadmap of participation, protection, prevention, partnership, disengagement and reintegration for the engagement of young people in the prevention of violent conflict and peace building across the country.
Lawal said that a study conducted by one of the group’s partners — Building Blocks for Peace Foundation — across six states and online highlighted youths priorities as Nigeria strive to implement the action plan on youth peace and security.
He, therefore, said that the group recommended that government agencies such as the National Orientation Agency and Ministry of Information at federal and state levels should be engaged in information dissemination and education on it.
“There is also need to address funding issues for youth organisations and states and local governments should be carried along and also create synergy with civil organisations,” he said.
He urged the National Assembly to look in the legislation of youth, peace and security agenda in Nigeria, adding that there was need to embark on advocacy with a view to deepen existing policy, laws and programmes to aid implementation.
He called for the need to address structural barriers that limit the meaningful inclusion of youths and create an enabling environment for youth organisations among others.
Also speaking, Ms Ene Audu another SUSO activist, called on youths to shun politics of ethnicity and religion ahead of the 2023 general elections.
She urged youths to vote for competence and people who could do the job for the good of the nation.
The First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari and other top women in Africa on Thursday lunched a call to action to promote equal participation of women of all ages in peace building and decision-making at all levels.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the women launched the action at an event in New York on “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings’’.
The High Level event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Mrs Buhari, the President of AFLPM, led other top women to call for action on women participation in peace building and it was signed by First Lady of Burundi, Mrs Angeline Ndayishimiye on behalf of the African First Ladies.
The First Lady of Cote d’Ivoire, Mrs Dominique Quattara also witnessed the signing of the declaration after it was read by Young Women Peace Builder, Ms Nadage Afoutou.
In her remarks, Afoutou, representative of Young Women Involved in Peace and Security from the Sahel spoke about the crises and challenges young women face in the Sahel.
The representative said that her organisation, United Network of Young Peacebuilder rely on four pillars of the UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security to build sustainable peace.
“We prioritise three axes to protect girls and young women from freedom of want and freedom of fear.
Our theory of change is that educated girls, trained and financial independent women have information and power.
“This power will reduce structural and personal vulnerabilities while increasing their resilience,’’ she said.
She said axe one was on capacity building to create pathway to economic empowerment; the second axe is female leadership programme and bootcamps and the last axe is focused on women’s political participation.
In her remarks, Ms Stefania Gianini, Assistant Director-General for Education (Education sector) at UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said the responsibility lied within the stakeholders to act.
Gianini said it was the responsibility of the responsibility of the top women to mobilize others to join forces on the enhancement of women’s inclusion in peace-making in Africa.
“It is my hope and belief that all active structures on the ground come together to form a single, unified coalition.
“Be assured of UNESCO’s willingness to revitalise these networks as we endeavour to complement our efforts through culture, as it’s about what we are.
“It’s about what we are, Education, as we are actually what we learn and Women leadership, as women care and the world increasingly needs a new kind of caring leadership,’’ she said According to her, UNESCO culture of peace and non-violence efforts continue to contribute to Agenda 2030, particularly SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, and the Aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063, in line with the G5 Sahel Strategy for Development and Security (SDS).
NAN reports that event coincided with the 22 years anniversary since the adoption of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and subsequently, nine other resolutions to advance the WPS framework.
Resolution 1325 established the first international legal and political framework recognizing the disproportionate impact of armed conflicts on women as well as the pivotal role of women in peace building.
It acknowledged the importance of the participation of women and the inclusion of the gender perspective in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peacekeeping operations, post conflict peace building and governance.
The Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda, set forth in resolution 2250 adopted by the Security Council in 2015 Subsequently, YPS resolutions has helped to strengthen and expand the global normative frameworks for sustainable, comprehensive and inclusive peace by integrating an age lens and highlighting the specific needs, experiences and aspirations of young women and men.
The Federal Government has commenced mapping exercise on the implementation of Nigeria National Action on Youth, Peace and Security (NNAP-YPS).Mr Sunday Dare, Minister of Sport and Youth Development, stated this on Friday in Ibadan at a 2-day workshop and mapping exercise on the implementation of NNAP-YPS.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workshop was organised by the Ministry for Youth and Sports Development in collaboration with Nigerian Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security (NCYPS).NAN recalls that the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in December, 2015, in New York.Dare, who was represented by Mr Adedoyin Oyekan, a Director in the ministry, said that the Federal Government has engaged stakeholders to develop and launch the NNAP-YPS.He said that the NNAP-YPS (2021-2024) which was developed to reflect and build on the five pillars of the UNSCR 2250 was now in its pilot phase of implementation.The minister listed Adamawa, Delta, Kaduna, Plateau and Oyo states and Abuja as the six pilot states chosen to measure impact as well as collect data that would guide scaling full implementation to other states.“We are here today to create awareness on the NNAP-YPS document and to map the stakeholders needed to be engaged to implement the NNAP-YPS in Oyo State.“We are hopeful that the implementation of NNAP-YPS will open positive and sustainable opportunities for young people, including the space to express their talents, while contributing to lasting peace and development in Nigeria.”Dare said that the programme was aimed at giving opportunities to the youth to express their talents and creativities leading to lasting peace and development of the state and nation.Mr Seun Fakorede, the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, said that the youth of any nation were the pillars on which the greatness and economic advancement of that nation is built.Fakorede, who was represented by Alhaja Aerat Adegbola, the Executive Secretary, Oyo State Agency for Youth Development, appreciated the Federal Government for selecting Oyo state as one of the pilot states.“Any nation that fails to adequately plan and nurture her youth does so at its own peril,” he said.He said that youths needed to be guided and monitored to forestall derailment, especially at this period when Nigeria is facing lots of peace and security problems.Also, Mr Theophilus Ekpon, the NCYPS Co-Chair, explained that the dissemination exercise would follow the workshop in October to reach more stakeholders, work with the media and commence domestication in the state.Ekpon said that every state was required to develop their action plan on Youth, Peace and Security, adding that it would create more opportunities for the youths.“We want to build capacity of youths, civil societies, security agencies, law enforcement agencies, judiciary, legislature, government agencies, religion and traditional leaders on YPS.“We want to build their capacity on YPS, human rights, rule of law and justice for all.“We also want to support young people with small grant.We want to support youth organisations especially those at the community level to implement their plan, activities and innovations,” he said.NAN reports that another outcome of the launch of the UNSCR 2250 in Nigeria and the subsequent 2017 National Consultative Conference on YPS was the call by stakeholders to develop a NNAP-YPS.Thereafter, the NNAP-YPS was subjected to an affirmation meeting on Aug. 27, 2021 and later launched on Nov. 1, 2021 by the Federal Government.NewsSourceCredit: NAN