UN-Habitat hosts side event promoting youth peace building
New York, 15 October 2015— The Promoting Youth Peacebuilding in Conflict & Post Conflict Cities side event explored challenges faced by youth in conflict and post-conflict situations and showcased evidence based practice in youth engagement in conflict cities.
Youth leaders and experts shared their personal perspectives of youth involvement in peace building. Speakers included Joyati Das (Senior Director for Urban Programs at World Vision International), Istar Nur Ahmed (Youth Advisor to the Prime Minister of Somalia), Carole Macneil (researcher Global Youth-led Development), and Murat Ozturk (researcher, Interfaith Dialogue).
The event addressed serious issues surrounding youth in conflict zones: including youth being more prone to violence and civil unrest and cities being seen as a concentration point for young men looking for work who are seen as most inclined to violence.
The conference took place in the context of a huge global shift towards urbanization, with 6 out of every 10 people in the world expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Over 90 per cent of this growth will take place in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Syed Kazmi, a youth advocate and diplomat with the Pakistani mission, spoke about surviving an earthquake in Kashmir as a young adolescent, the devastation of the community, and the fundamental role youth played in piecing together society.
The essential message from the conference was clear: youth can play a key role in peace-building in conflict and post-conflict zones, and youth participation should be prioritized. Effectively engaging youth can help reduce violence and promote peace.