"Youth Peace and Security" agenda : Timbuktu Institute stresses cross-border dimension and prevention Spécial

From June 11 to 13 in Ziguinchor, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Senegal and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, organized the Launch of National Consultations on the "Youth Peace and Security" agenda stemming from United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015). This meeting, which brought together representatives from the 14 regions (from) civil society and associative movements, researchers and various technical and financial partners, aims to promote the inclusion, commitment and active participation of young people in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

By adopting a National Action Plan by December 2024, Senegal will become the third African country, after Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to domesticate the international legal framework represented by Resolution 2250. To achieve this, a roadmap was unanimously adopted by the participants in the Consultations, who also pledged to be ambassadors of this resolution, seeking peace and security, as declared by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Madame Khady Diene Gaye, who came to preside over the opening ceremony of this activity. For the Minister, "these consultations open up a wide window of opportunity to learn the tools for building peace, preventing violent extremism and protecting young people by encouraging their participation in the peace process".

Taking part in these National Consultations, several researchers stressed the need to prevent conflict by raising awareness and involving young people as key players. With this in mind, Mr. Bocar Guiro, Researcher at the Timbuktu Institute, reviewed some of the Think Tank's initiatives, such as the Program "Building and strengthening resilience in an unstable regional environment, what roles and place for young people and women? "held in Kédougou and Ziguinchor in 2020, a seminar-debate in border areas, "Dakar Peace conversations" in 2021, Citizen Conversations in 2022, a series of discussions on "Young people and the media: entre engagement et responsabilité citoyenne" conducted in the coastal areas of Guédiawaye and Mbour, and the border areas of Rosso-Sénégal, Fogny (Gambia) and Matam, seminar-debates in Tambacounda, Saint-Louis, Sédhiou and Mbour, on "preventing political violence".

Moreover, aware of the importance of research in identifying security challenges and threats, the Timbuktu Institute's groundbreaking report on the factors behind youth radicalization in 2016 helped to raise real awareness of the phenomena of radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism, scourges that continue to undermine the Sahel and the West African region. It is therefore notable that the Timbuktu Institute understood very early on the urgency and necessity of placing young people at the beginning and end of any peace process, as recommended by Resolution 2250. For his part, the UNDP representative, Luc Gnonlonfoun, did not fail to point out that "lasting peace is built in prevention and in the creation of economic opportunities for young people".

One of the highlights of these three days of reflection was the reading of the Declaration of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in Senegal, by the young people, materializing their firm commitment to work for peace and security throughout the country, and beyond. The Declaration, based on the five pillars of the Resolution - Participation, Protection, Prevention, Partnership, Disengagement and Reintegration - calls on "national and local public authorities, as well as non-state actors, to redouble their efforts to meet Senegal's national and international commitments under the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda".

Following the launch of the National Consultations in Ziguinchor, other meetings are planned to gather the opinions of young people and other sections of society in the localities.

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