The Security Council of the United Nations adopted the first of its kind resolution – 2250 Youth, Peace and Security which recognizes that “young people play an important and positive role in maintaining and promoting international peace and security”. The document identifies four pillars for action: participation, protection, prevention, and partnerships. This ground-breaking resolution urges Member States to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes.
APT as part of a network of youth organizations from around the world under the auspices of UNOY advocated for the resolution 2250. APT was perhaps one of five organizations from the world to travel to New York City and speak in numerous UN side-events in order to advocate for the resolution. In 2015 just a few months before adoption of the resolution, APT participated in the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and security, hosted on the 21st and 22nd of August 2015 by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where the Amman Youth Declaration was announced. This declaration was then proposed to the Security Council and was unanimously adopted by the member states in December 2015 and marked the culmination of years of advocacy by civil society.
The declaration has been translated from its original language: English to Dari by APT.
Since the adoption of UNSC-R 2250, APT has worked tirelessly to localize this resolution and bring this document to the attention of the government and policy makers. Some of the initiatives have included the following:
On National Level:
On December 29 2015, APT in cooperation with the Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs held a press conference at the Government Media and Information Center calling on government to take action on the Resolution 2250 and recognize the role of youth in peace and security in Afghanistan. Nearly 40 male and female participants including local media attended and gave the event coverage.
Mr. Kamal Sadaat, Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of the Afghan Government and Ali Fayez from APT along with other youth activists spoke as panelists. Ali of APT stated that “UN 2250
Resolution” shows a fundamental change in views of International Players towards youth positive role in peace and security. He further added, “lack of social consensus for peacebuilding in society has been the main reason behind infectiveness of political efforts in peace and security. We believe that peace and security is a social agreement before being a political one. If there is an agreement on a social level it will automatically lead to political agreement in this regard.”
Likewise, Kamal Saadat shared his views on the resolution and he stated that all sectors of Afghanistan Government are committed to implement the resolution and work for the Afghan youth. Mr. Sadat also called on UN member states to help Afghan youth in order to secure a more effective role in their society.
“The international community should consider financial support to Afghan youth in order to help them improve their lives and education,” he said.
The program continued with a press release calling on the Afghan government and relevant international agencies to consider the following demands:
On December 2015, Ali of APT was invited for an interview in ToloNews Stadio. Ali explained the SCR2250 during his interview and pointed out that SCR2250 opens a new perspective about youth’s role towards peace and security. Ali stated “SCR2250 examines the issues of peace and security from a cultural perspective rather than a political one, ensuring youth empowerment and providing space to realize their potentials and should be highlighted by the government. He further explained “peace negotiations at a political level will not result in a sustainable peace in Afghanistan unless youth are considered in all levels equally; youth have the power to mobilize change at the grassroots level as well as push for structural changes at the governmental and policy levels”.
APT, with the support of UNOY conducted a field research program in Afghanistan to examine young people’s roles in peacebuilding and study the factors that enable or/and constrain these roles. APT organized conversations, semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions with different groups of youth, government officials, and civil society members. The study represents a youth-led participatory action research in four countries: Afghanistan, Libya, Sierra Leone and Colombia. A comparative study in these four countries allowed an examination of young people’s roles in civic engagement initiatives in different cultural, historical and geographical contexts, where factors like gender and age may shape the roles of youth in peacebuilding in different ways. On the country level, APT published Afghanistan’s policy paper in two languages of Dari and English in this quarter.