International Youth Day -“Youth Building Peace”

On 12 August the world marks the International Youth Day promoting the role of young women and men as essential partners in achieving human rights and development.

International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. There is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda, and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.

Having in mind that the current generation of youth in the world is the largest in history and that young people often comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative.

“Today’s generation of youth has come of age in an era of crisis, conflict and disaster. Yet, it has largely been excluded from national and global efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts”, stated Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Acting Executive Director. She also emphasised that “if we want a more peaceful world, we can no longer afford to leave young people behind. We must listen to and work with them”.

Global 2030 Agenda clearly underscores that “sustainable development cannot be realised without peace and security” and without ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels, including youth”.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, youth comprise one fifth of society but they are often excluded from political, economic and social spheres and processes. Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator stated that “the UN remains committed to working with everyone in the country to help young people realize their potential and to generate positive social change for sustainable peace and development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”