Wilton Park Youth Dialogues: powering the future. Youth as peacemakers (WP1557)
Image: MENA Regional Youth Leadership Programme. Search for Common Ground
This was the second event in the Wilton Park Youth Dialogues: powering the future and takes place in partnership with the British Council, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the WANA Institute, Jordan, and in association with Restless Development and the Institute of Development Studies.
Young people make up a third of those affected by conflict. More than 600 million young people live in fragile or conflict affected areas; at least 25 per cent of those affected by the Syria crisis, for example, are aged 10 to 24. In addition, the protracted crises in Syria, Iraq and nearby countries mean that over 4 million youth in the region are at risk and could, in turn, pose a risk to their communities and the wider region. Unable to work and often traumatised, many of these young people may see joining an armed group or leaving their country altogether as the only choices open to them.
The conference showcased emerging local initiatives to empower young people and support them in their role in peacemaking and peacebuilding. How can such initiatives be scaled up to optimise young people’s grassroots efforts, in the face of extremism and radicalisation? And what role can formal and informal education play in developing young people’s citizenship, their active participation in their own communities and in wider society? And how can a culture of peace be supported where young people are heard and represented in a new model of governance?
We spoke to UNICEF’s youngest ever Goodwill Ambassador, Muzoon Almellehan, and asked her to tell us her story, and to discuss the role of youth as peacemakers.
Why should young people be involved in Peacemaking?
We asked some of our event participants why should young people be involved in peacemaking?
Empowering young peacemakers in MENA
We asked some of our event participants for the one change that would empower young peacemakers in the MENA region?