ACCORD had the pleasure of hosting a global workshop in partnership with the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (UN PBSO) entitled Sustaining Peace by Investing in Youth from 14-17 November, 2016 in Durban, South Africa.
The workshop looked to improve the effectiveness of the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) support to national stakeholders in their efforts to consolidate peace, through targeting and supporting young women and men. The workshop brought together practitioners from the PBSO, which manages PBF at the global level; the PBF recipient country representatives in the field (at both the political and technical levels); direct implementers of youth projects from Civil Society Organizations (CSO); and other major stakeholders such as the African Union (AU); World Bank (WB); and donor countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Australia, and the United States of America.
The workshop discussed the roles and focus of the PBF on youth and the evolution of UN’s thinking around youth. Youth organizations from different countries such as Burundi, Central African Republic, Guinea, Madagascar, and Mali had the opportunity to share their experiences and challenges in implementing youth focused projects. The workshop discussed the donor partner’s vision for and support to youth and peacebuilding programmes, specifically looking into key lessons, possibilities and joint approaches. The remaining two days of the workshop focused on targeting technical experts with the objective of strengthening the capacity of PBF Secretariats and focal points to support PBF programming on youth and peacebuilding, including design and monitoring.
The workshop was particularly timely in view of the recent adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security, which offers an important policy framework for peacebuilding interventions that meaningfully involve young women and men and support their leadership in peacebuilding. This is also relevant continentally, as 2017 has been declared by the AU as the year of youth, focusing on a theme – “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investment in Youth”. It is in line with the AU’s declaration of the Decade on Youth Development in Africa (2009-2018). Agenda 2063 also reflect the centrality of youth and their potential for Africa and in terms of achieving its goals in development and peace.
ACCORD has previously collaborated with the UN PBSO on important initiatives including, convening the three global workshops before this, in 2013, 2014 and 2015.