The Global Forum, hosted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, was envisaged as a turning point towards a new international agenda on youth, peace and security. Stemming from the thematic debate organized by Jordan during its presidency of the Security Council in April 2015, the Forum was built on continuing efforts by a multiplicity of actors to decisively step-up global attention to young people’s contribution to peace and chart a common agenda. For the first gathering of this kind, young people, youth-led organizations, non-governmental organizations, governments and UN entities came together to agree on a common vision and roadmap to partner with young people to prevent conflict, counter violent extremism and build lasting peace.

HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein speech at the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security

 

Video:‪ Jordan‬ to host the UN-supported Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security (‬ 21-22 August 2015 )

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 

Please check www.youth4peace.info for updated information on the Forum. 

 

Preamble

We, young people from around the world, gathered here in Amman, Jordan on 21-22 August 2015 at the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, express our commitment to live in a peaceful global society. Today, with more young people than ever globally, it is a demographic imperative to include us in working to achieve stability and security.

We express our gratitude to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II for his concerted efforts and leadership, and for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting this Global Forum and  its  commitment to furthering the conversation around youth, peace and security.

With this Declaration, we present a common vision and roadmap towards a strengthened policy framework to support us in transforming conflict, preventing and countering violence and building sustainable peace.

This Declaration was developed by youth and is the outcome of an extensive consultation process with young people from all over the world to ensure an inclusive and integrated approach. In this regard, we;

Build on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and acknowledge that the main responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter is to maintain international peace and security;

Refer to the need to recognise and support the role of youth in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16 defined by the United Nations in the Post-2015 Development Agenda;

Recall the importance of the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding in creating a foundation that ensures young people’s participation and contribution to building peace, including in conflict and post-conflict contexts;

Recognise that we, youth, are engaged in shaping lasting peace in our communities as positive contributors to peace, justice and reconciliation;

Acknowledge the ongoing work of national and international governments and organisations to engage youth in building peace;

Recognize the vulnerable status of many young people including refugees and internally displaced persons;

Call on governmental and non-governmental organisations, associations and agencies including youth-led civil society to partner with us to ensure the implementation of the following action points:

1. Youth Participation and Leadership in Issues of Peace and Security

We, young people, are highly engaged in transforming conflict, countering violence and building peace. Yet, our efforts remain largely invisible, unrecognized, and even undermined due to lack of adequate participatory and inclusive mechanisms and opportunities to partner with decision-making bodies. We implore policy makers to develop meaningful mechanisms for youth participation and leadership in decision and policy-making from the local to national and international levels. We must also foster young people’s leadership skills, creating an interdependent virtuous cycle to shift the negative perceptions and discourse on young people to that of partners in building peaceful and sustainable communities.

 

Action Points:

  • The United Nations must establish a global policy framework by 2017. A United Nations Security Council resolution on Youth, Peace and Security is the most appropriate option to recognise the role of young people and institutionalise their participation at all levels. We call on the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution on Youth, Peace and Security. 
  • International agencies, national governments and local authorities urgently need to establish policy dialogue processes with young people on issues of peace and security. This engagement must go beyond symbolic consultation.
  • International agencies, national governments and local authorities must establish mechanisms  to meaningfully involve youth in current and future peace processes, including formal peace negotiations from the local to the global levels. These mechanisms need to ensure youth are engaged as equal partners and promote youth leadership.
  • International agencies and national governments need to provide support to, and partner with, youth‐led organisations engaged in building peace with a focus on capacity development.
  • National governments must mainstream context-specific, quality education for peace that equips young people with the ability to engage constructively in civic structures;
  • Donors must allocate long-term, sustainable funding and material support to youth‐led organisations and networks, formal and informal youth groups, and individual youth initiatives. We, youth, must be included in donor’s decision making structures to ensure that funding is accessible and appropriate in amount and duration. Donors need to work with youth organisations to assess  to what extent current funding structures meet real needs for youth in peacebuilding.

 

2. Youth Preventing Violence and Building Peace

Within international and national contexts, the discourse on violence and violent extremism frames young people as potential perpetrators of violence despite the fact that most young people are not involved in armed conflict or violence. This framing is a harmful reduction of the role young people play in preventing violence and transforming conflicts.

 Action Points:

  • National Governments, local authorities, private sector and civil society organizations, including faith based organizations and faith leaders, must recognize and support what young people are already doing in preventing violence and violent extremism. They should build upon the existing capacities, networks and resources of young people in their countries and communities, as well as at the international level.
  • We, young people, must continue to prevent violence and violent extremism. National governments and local authorities should facilitate an enabling environment in which youth actors are recognised and provided with adequate support to implement violence prevention activities. This space must be inclusive of youth from different social, political, economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds,
  • International agencies and national governments must ensure that young people enjoy full provision of their fundamental human rights, without exception. 
  • National governments, local authorities and researchers should ensure that contextual research is conducted in collaboration with young people and youth organizations to identify the drivers and enablers of violence and extremism in order to design effective responses at local, national and international levels.

3. Gender Equality

The challenges faced by young people when engaging in building peace, transforming conflicts and countering violence remain highly gender-dependent. In several parts of the world, the political participation of young women in particular is jeopardised. Thus, it is necessary to create mechanisms that not only ensure equality among genders, but also address the hardships that are gender specific.

Action Points:

  • Local authorities and national governments must ensure that young men and women have equal opportunities and access to education and employment and create mechanisms to tackle gender discrimination in those environments, recognising that the marginalisation of particular groups such as women is detrimental to building sustainable peace in all societies.
  • International agencies, national governments and donors must identify and support youth-led organizations which address gender inequality and empower young women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution as those are crucial partners in peacebuilding efforts;
  • International agencies, national governments and local authorities must implement internationally agreed commitments to promote and protect the rights of girls, prevent gender-based violence and end impunity for crimes such as child, early and forced marriage, sexual and domestic violence, femicide and female genital mutilation. Gender-based violence hinders the development and meaningful participation of young people in peacebuilding processes. Additionally, sexual and gender based violence is linked to broader issues of insecurity and hampers negotiations in the context of peace agreements and ceasefires.
  • Local authorities and national governments  should establish temporary special measures, including minimum quotas, for the participation of girls and women in all decision- and policy-making levels by 2018. Such measures ensure that women’s perspectives and interests will be represented and they effectively combat the persistent exclusion of women from the political environment;
  • Youth-led peace organisations must continuously be gender sensitive in all their actions and strive to ensure inclusiveness.

4. Young People’s Socio-Economic Empowerment

Around the world we, young people, are disproportionately affected by limited access to social and economic opportunities. Limited or inadequate employment opportunities and a lack of educational empowerment can contribute to economic isolation, political disillusionment and social unrest. This hinders social cohesion and our ability to engage in peace processes as it limits our capacity to organize and act. Societies will not enjoy peace without economic development, and they will not enjoy economic development without peace. To be active agents for building peace,  we need to be able to see that  we have an ongoing stake in society.

Action Points:

  • National governments must prioritise youth employment opportunities and inclusive labour policies by adopting a national youth employment action plan, working together with the private sector, and allocating budget to its implementation. The plan must be evidence-based, developed in partnership with young people and recognise the interrelated role of education, employment and training in preventing the marginalisation of young people.
  • National governments and local authorities must collaborate to create social and economic opportunities for young people, in both rural and urban locations. They must invest in building young people’s capabilities and equip them with skills to meet the labour demands through relevant education opportunities designed in a manner which promotes a culture of peace.
  • International organisations, national governments, donors and the private sector need to support youth-led and youth peacebuilding organisations as partners in youth employment and entrepreneurship programs as those organisations are uniquely placed to engage marginalised young people. 
  • Local authorities and national governments must fund and develop policies, laws and programs on health, for the life cycle of all young peopleThis is a prerequisite for social and economic empowerment of young people.

Highlighted above are some of the key requirements for a policy framework supporting youth participation in peacebuilding. To this end, local authorities, national governments, donors, civil society and other actors, must take urgent measures to support young people as actors in preventing and transforming conflict, countering violent extremism and building peace by implementing the action points in this Declaration.

As young people attending the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security we commit to work together with all stakeholders in order to build peace around the world.  We commit to monitoring the implementation of this declaration.

The Global Forum, hosted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, was envisaged as a turning point towards a new international agenda on youth, peace and security. Stemming from the thematic debate organized by Jordan during its presidency of the Security Council in April 2015, the Forum was built on continuing efforts by a multiplicity of actors to decisively step-up global attention to young people’s contribution to peace and chart a common agenda. For the first gathering of this kind, young people, youth-led organizations, non-governmental organizations, governments and UN entities came together to agree on a common vision and roadmap to partner with young people to prevent conflict, counter violent extremism and build lasting peace.

 

 

Video: HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II speech at the UN Security Council (UNSC)

 

 

  1. At the policy level, the “Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security”, presented young people’s vision and roadmap towards a strengthened policy framework in support of young people’s roles in preventing and transforming conflict, countering violent extremism and building peace. This Amman Declaration was entirely developed by young people, building on the Guiding Principles for Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding. The “Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security” was used in the months following the Forum to engage high-level decision-makers towards the adoption of a new international framework.
  2. An enhanced coalition of existing youth networks, youth-led organizations and young leaders  to lobby Member States and decision-makers, on the basis of the “Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security”, to elevate discussions to the Security Council and other high-level fora. The Forum led to the identification of concrete avenues to support young people working on conflict prevention and transformation, on countering violent extremism and on peacebuilding to help them expand current interventions, projects and programmes – in order to decisively enhance the support provided locally, nationally and internationally to young people and their networks. The Forum helped consolidate youth organizations’ partnership with existing coordination platforms such as the Working Group on Youth & Peacebuilding and the Global Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding, as way to deepen the relationships between youth civil society organizations and other stakeholders.  
  3. An expanded evidence-base demonstrating the positive contribution of young people to conflict prevention and transformation and peacebuilding, by offering a platform to share policy models, programmatic experiences and stories of community and individual resilience and resistance to violence and incitement to hatred. This will ultimately contribute to improved programming quality of interventions, better informed youth friendly policies as well as greater accountability from donors and international organizations towards young people. 
  4. The launch of a global multimedia and communication campaign (#youth4peace) aimed at highlighting the important efforts of young people who are shaping their communities constructively despite the violence and risks they face; creating a space for youth to share opinions on the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace; and curating an online global conversation on the role of youth in peacebuilding conflict transformation and countering violent extremism.  

The Forum covered a wide range of topics related to countering violent extremism, conflict prevention, violence reduction and peacebuilding, in order to reflect on young people’s contribution to these fields. The three key overarching themes addressed, each with a select set of sub-topics, include: 


1. Young People’s Participation: An Untapped Resource for Peace and Security   

  • Young people’s resilience: stories from conflict-affected zones Young people from all regions of the world shared their personal stories of resistance to hatred, violence and conflict and the work they have undertaken to support tolerance, inclusiveness, peace in their communities and peaceful coexistence with other communities. 
  • Youth leadership, engagement and organizing In violence- and conflict-affected situations, youth activism and youth organizations and associations play a vital role in building social cohesion.  However, formal institutions and organizations tend to only be accessible to more privileged, educated, and urban youth.  Supporting grassroots youth groups that are not formally structured can be challenging, and yet policy-makers and civil society need to partner with hard-to-reach, marginalized youth. How can the right partnerships be built? And how can grassroots groups be supported when they are not set up to respond to donors’ or international actors’ working methods? 
  • Young women shaping peace the narratives on the role of young people in peacebuilding, and the programmes developed in response tend to be very schematically gendered, and to de facto focus on young men. Yet young women are also in the frontlines demanding participation and democracy, expanding the rule of law, holding governments accountable, and actively shaping the course of conflict and peace. Peacebuilding policy and practice need to engage young women much more systematically and strategically. 

2. Speech and Counter Speech 
How can we counter war/conflict narratives that attract young people with their easy solutions and simplified world view? How do we make the narrative of peace attractive? 

  • Religion/inter-religious/culture-related speech and counter speech Religion and faith often play a central role in the lives of young people. Throughout history, youth have drawn on spiritual inspiration to contribute to their families, communities and societies. Religion-based and inter-faith initiatives by young people can contribute to community cohesion and mutual understanding. 
  • The role of young people in countering violent extremism. It is essential to reflect on the push and pull factors at play in young women and men’s involvement in both violence and resistance to violence, and find ways to nurture and amplify factors that keep more young people involved as constructive and responsible citizens. These factors are context-specific and may be complex. Simplistic, generalized, and out-of-context explanations fuel inadequate policies and ineffective programmes. But promising initiatives can link at-risk youth with responsible influencers and leaders in their communities. 
  • Media and Communication Young people are adept at utilizing technology and different media platforms in ways that can both foment instability and promote non-violence.   

3. The Role of State and the International Community  

  • Investing in youth capacities for peace and stability  It is the responsibility of States and of the international community to make the right investments which will enable young people to contribute to peace, by ensuring that they have meaningful avenues to engage in social and political life and can access quality education and vocational training and economic opportunities. Government donors, multilateral agencies and private foundations highlighted how they can invest in youth as partners in peacebuilding rather than only as victims of conflict or troublemakers that need correction and assistance. This session discussed how young people can join forces and speak with one voice when approaching policy-makers and donors.  
  • Governance and participation Young people’s participation in political processes and public administration is essential to shape how government and communities can increase social cohesion and prevent conflict. Young people have an important role to play in holding institutions accountable to the people. 
  • I never imagined myself standing in front of an audience and expressing myself, but Haqiq gave me strength and showed me that I have all that it takes to overcome my fears
    Mohammad Salem, a ninth grader from Deir Alla
  • His Royal Highness’ initiative was launched to deal with a sensitive and persistent issue that has been challenging the sports sector in Jordan. Sports teams and leagues will benefit from this initiative that will qualify athletic therapists specialists; which will provide a sense of safety for the athletes and will eventually reflect positively on their athletic performance
    Doc. Atef Rweidan, Al Hussein Youth City General Manager
  • The acquisition of self-defense techniques was their favorite achievement. We used to be told that girls could not perform activities that involve physical force,” they said, adding that martial arts have strengthened their self-esteem and discipline
    Zeina Saqer, Siham Kiswani and Farah Odeh
  • A Dream, an ambition and hope that is coming to life….. thank you Your Royal Highness and may we always be moving forward to be what we ought to be; always in the lead
    Mr. Khaled Zeidan, psychotherapist and field injuries specialist
  • An important and highly valued initiative as it is concerned with the lives and safety of our young athletes that are always aiming on raising Jordan’s flag at international championship. It also sheds the light on the importance and role of qualified athletic therapists
    Mrs. Lana Jaghbeer, Jordanian Olympic Committee Secretary General

Thoughts & Comments

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