In an effort to mainstream youth involvement in peace and security, ACCORD has consistently incorporated youth concerns into its programming as well as created and participated in spaces aimed at bolstering the youth, peace and security (YPS) agenda. Reinforcing this work, ACCORD, recently joined the International Steering Group (ISG) on the Five-year Strategic Action Plan for Youth Inclusive Peace Processes.
The ISG, which is co-chaired by Search for Common Ground, the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, seeks to support the Strategic Action Plan, which aims to move from youth-inclusive norms to youth-inclusive practices. The specific objectives of the Strategic Action Plan include, enhancing institutional commitments to meaningful youth participation in peace processes; developing youth-sensitive and gender-responsive capacity strengthening resources and tools; developing a youth-led community of practice to coordinate and facilitate the progress of the strategy; and mobilizing resources for the implementation of the Action Plan.
The goals of the Strategic Action Plan compliment ACCORD’s continued work on the YPS agenda and ACCORD’s strategic objective to enhance the role of youth in preventing, mitigating and resolving complex conflicts. ACCORD continues to engage in several activities aimed at bolstering the YPS agenda, including trainings, the provision of expert technical support to partners and hosting several online and in-person dialogues and discussions aimed at popularising the African Union’s Continental Framework on Youth, Peace and Security as well as other crucial youth-centred topics.
The work of the ISG demonstrates the importance of partnership and coordination in progressing and mainstreaming the YPS agenda. These efforts help to create communities of practice and facilitate the cross-sharing of ideas, while bringing together diverse actors and interested stakeholders to create a more comprehensive representation of the YPS space and the work being done to mainstream youth and their interests in peace and security processes.