Lesotho is in the midst of a national reforms process overseen by National Reforms Authority (NRA). This process seeks to reform constitutional, parliamentary, security, justice, public service, economic, media and peace infrastructure in the country. In order to incorporate youth voices into the reform process, ACCORD and the Moshoeshoe I Institute for Peace and Leadership (MIPL) held a Youth Dialogue on Peace in Lesotho on 18 March 2022.
The dialogue provided youth representatives with the opportunity to discuss and make recommendations to the National Reforms Authority (NRA). Members of religious organisations, entrepreneurial organisation, political parties, disability organisations, civil society groups, LGBTQ+ organisations, the media, and institutions of higher learning were all invited to contribute to the dialogue. The assembled parties agreed that youth unemployment and disenfranchisement are two major contributors to conflict and insecurity in Lesotho. Following the deliberations that ensued, youth inclusive policies and active youth participation in peace and security processes came through as possible solutions to these issues.
The MIPL is dedicated to ensure that diverse youth voices are heard during Lesotho’s reform process. To insure an authentic youth voice was included, the institute established a board made up entirely of young people that will work towards the planning, facilitation, and reporting to the NRA. ACCORD recognises that including youth in peace, security and governance makes peace more sustainable and policies more effective. As such ACCORD continues to support the MIPL in its efforts to include young people in the reform process. ACCORD and the MIPL have worked together previously on capacity building interventions in Lesotho, and will continue to work closely by facilitating dialogue towards sustainable peace in Lesotho.