In 2015 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, which places youth and youth-led efforts firmly within the broader peace and security discourse. In the five short years since its passing, the youth peacebuilding mandate has seen unprecedented attention and support within the formal peace architecture at international, regional and local levels. However, young people have long been participating and leading peacebuilding initiatives around the world with little attention and minimal funding. Young people in the Indo-Pacific region claim space and lead on diverse issues including climate, justice, violence prevention, and conflict resolution, yet are often excluded from formal spaces of peace and security. As institutions, donors and broader civil society pay increased attention to youth inclusive practices, it is important that lessons are heeded and critical questions are asked.
This report highlights key themes and issues that emerged from a workshop sponsored by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, held November 2019, which brought together established and emerging expertise from across Australia to consider how policy responses and scholarship can better engage with the peace and security challenges facing young people in Australia’s neighbourhood. It raises key challenges and questions including around youth inclusive practices, context-specific engagements, and overcoming persistent stereotypes that frame young people, and concludes by offering recommendations to governments, regional bodies, practitioners, and academics. Youth cannot be an afterthought in the design, development and delivery of programs; the current moment presents an ideal opportunity to include young people to build sustainable peace and secure societies in the region and beyond.
The report was authored by Dr Helen Berents and Dr Caitlin Mollica of QUT Centre for Justice.
A full copy of the report can be found here
Dr Caitlin Mollica (L) and Dr Helen Berents (R)