As part of ACCORD’s longstanding partnership with the African Union’s (AU) Youth for Peace Africa (Y4P) Programme, the two organisations collaborated to host an intergenerational dialogue on Inclusive Approaches to Youth, Peace and Security (YPS). The dialogue, which took place on 2 September 2022, explored how the AU Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security (CFYPS) advocates for and facilitates the inclusion of young people with varied interests and from a wide array of backgrounds in peace and security spaces.
The discussion, which was moderated by Dr Rhuks Ako, from the AU Y4P Programme, and Ms Savannah Wilmot, Programme Officer at ACCORD, brought together seasoned peace and security practitioners and youth representatives from different backgrounds. The dialogue panel included Mr Saji Prelis, Director of Children and Youth Programmes at Search for Common Ground and the Co-Chair of the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security; Mr Achaleke Christian Leke, African Youth Ambassador for Peace for the Central Africa Region; Ms Rozaline Joseph, Board member of the National Youth Council of Namibia; and Mr Moctar Kane, Country Manager for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund and former African Youth Ambassador for Peace.
The panellist concurred that beyond the inclusion of youth, there is pressing need to adopt inclusive approaches to peace and security spaces, that are responsive to diverse views and voices and not simply include young people as token representatives of entire constituencies. The dialogue paved the understanding that an inclusive and diverse approach would contribute to a more resilient and responsive peace process that attends to the needs of all stakeholders. The panellists also pointed out that the stakeholders’ need inclusive of those youth with disabilities; mental or psychological damage from conflict burdened and post-conflict societies; as well as rural areas, that are often excluded from peace programmes. The panellists reiterated the need for all stakeholders to be partners in the planning, implementing and monitoring of such programmes.
This dialogue was the third in a series of dialogues ACCORD is hosting with the AU Y4P Programme, aimed at raising awareness about the CFYPS and discussing the crosscutting issues of gender mainstreaming, youth inclusivity, capacity building, communication and knowledge management. The next dialogue in the series will be taking place on 7 October 2022 and will focus on Capacity building. This dialogue series fits into ACCORD’s broader strategic vision, which aims to improve the role youth play in the transformation of complex conflicts.