The global youth population—1.8 billion strong—represents boundless possibilities and talent to build a peaceful and sustainable world. The theme for International Youth Day, 12 August, 2017, focuses specifically on “Youth Building Peace”.

Peace and stability has to be built with youth

Young women and girls have a diverse range of roles and experiences during and after conflict. They are combatants, collaborators, mediators and peacebuilders, as well as victims and casualties of war, facing additional layers of violence and discrimination because of their age and gender. Their leadership and perspectives are indispensable for stopping conflicts and healing communities.

The 2015 Global Study on the Implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 strongly recommended increased involvement of young people in women, peace and security issues at the national, regional and global levels. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 16, which promotes peace, justice and strong institutions, also requires full engagement of young people, and young women, in particular.

The promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind” demands that we include young women at the centre of our interventions to build peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies.

In her statement for International Youth Day, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka states “Peace and stability cannot be built without young women and men, and it cannot be built for them—it has to be built with them”. Read more >>>

Learn more about UN Women’s overall work with youth spanning issues such as ending violence against womenleadershipentrepreneurship and more.

Below, a glimpse into youth efforts on this year’s theme of “Youth Building Peace”.

 


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In Kyrgyzstan, youth are at the forefront of building peaceful communities

What does engaging youth to build peaceful communities look like? In rural Kyrgyzstan, a UN Women program has empowered 15,000 young people to take action to prevent violence, promote gender equality and build tolerance of diversity in their communities. Through initiatives such as “My Safe and Peaceful School” and “My Prosperous Farm”, youth have also gained life and livelihood skills. Read more >>>

 

From where I stand: “Peace is not an overnight miracle. Everyone needs to contribute to build peace” From where I stand: “A big part of being a feminist is to make sure that young women know that they have rights” From where I stand: “When it comes to peace, men are still the main players in the formal talks”
 
Saba Ismail started working on peacebuilding in Pakistan when she was 15 years old. Despite the challenges she faces, she hopes to see diversities celebrated and everyone contributing to peace. Read more >>> Sophia Pierre-Antoine lived through many coup d’état in Haiti and watched the rising violence against women and girls all around her. Her feminism led her on a path to work with young girls to break the cycle of violence. Read more >>> Francesca De Antoni, a UN Volunteer and a Programme Coordinator based in UN Women’s office in Mali, talks about the importance of women’s role in mediation and peacebuilding in communities. Read more >>>