Security Council, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2250 (2015), Urges Member States to Increase Representation of Youth in Decision-Making at All Levels
Recognizing the threat to stability and development posed by the rise of radicalization among young people, the Security Council today urged Member States to consider ways to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2250 (2015), which defined youth as persons aged 18 through 29, the Council also urged Member States to consider setting up mechanisms that would enable young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes and dispute resolution.
Prior to its adoption, Jordan’s representative, Dina Kawar, said the resolution — considered the first of its kind on youth, peace and security — followed efforts by the Prince of Jordan, public discussions on combating violent extremism, and the Global Forum on Youth Peace and Security that took place in Amman in August.
“What we seek is to draw the world’s attention to ensure that young people are given the attention they deserve at a time when the world is a theatre for an increasing number of negative issues,” she said.
By the terms of its resolution, the Council recognized that today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known, and accounted for many of those civilians affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and displaced persons.
But it expressed concern over the increased use of the Internet by terrorists and their supporters to recruit and incite youth to commit terrorist acts, and underlined the need for Member States to work together to prevent terrorists from exploiting new technologies.
Youth, the Council said, should be actively engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, as they represented “a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and prosperity” if inclusive policies were put in place.
Member States were encouraged to engage local communities and non-governmental actors “in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist narrative that can incite terrorist acts”. They were also encouraged to address conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism by empowering youth, families, women, religious, cultural and education leaders and other concerned groups in civil society, and by adopting “tailored approaches” to counter recruitment to violent extremism.
By other terms, the resolution called for the participation and views of youth to be taken into account during the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements, as their marginalization would be detrimental to building sustainable peace in such aspects as repatriation, resettlement and reconstruction.
The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:11 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2250 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013) and 2242 (2015) on Women, Peace and Security and all relevant statements of its President, its resolutions on Countering Terrorism 2178 (2014) and 2195 (2014) and the Statement of its President S/PRST/2015/11, and the Statements of its President on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding S/PRST/2012/29 and S/PRST/2015/2,
“Recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1894 (2009) on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,
“Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security,
“Noting that the term youth is defined in the context of this resolution as persons of the age of 18-29 years old, and further noting the variations of definition of the term that may exist on the national and international levels, including the definition of youth in the General Assembly resolutions A/RES/50/81 and A/RES/56/117,
“Recognizing that today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known and that young people often form the majority of the population of countries affected by armed conflict,
“Expressing concern that among civilians, youth account for many of those adversely affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and internally displaced persons, and that the disruption of youth’s access to education and economic opportunities has a dramatic impact on durable peace and reconciliation,
“Recognizing the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security,
“Affirming the important role youth can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and as a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts,
“Recognizing that youth should actively be engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, and that a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place,
“Recognizing that the rise of radicalization to violence and violent extremism, especially amongst youth, threatens stability and development, and can often derail peacebuilding efforts and foment conflict, and stressing the importance of addressing conditions and factors leading to the rise of radicalization to violence and violent extremism amongst youth, which can be conducive to terrorism,
“Expressing concern over the increased use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters of new information and communication technologies, in particular the Internet, for the purposes of recruitment and incitement of youth to commit terrorist acts, as well as for the financing, planning and preparation of their activities, and underlining the need for Member States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources to incite support for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law,
“Noting the important role youth can play further as positive role models in preventing and countering violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, and fuels conflict, inhibits socioeconomic development and fosters regional and international insecurity,
“Noting that the Secretary-General is finalizing a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to integrate youth’s participation, leadership and empowerment as core to the United Nations strategy and responses,
“Noting the World Programme of Action for Youth, the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding, the August 2015 Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security, the Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security, the September 2015 Global Youth Summit against Violent Extremism and the Action Agenda to Prevent Violent Extremism and Promote Peace, and acknowledging their role in creating a foundation that promotes young people’s inclusive participation and positive contribution to building peace in conflict and post-conflict situations,
“Acknowledging the on-going work of national governments and regional and international organisations to engage youth in building and maintaining peace,
“Encouraging Member States to consider developing a UN common approach to inclusive development as a key for preventing conflict and enabling long-term stability and sustainable peace, and highlighting in this regard the importance of identifying and addressing social, economic, political, cultural and religious exclusion, intolerance, as well as violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, as drivers of conflict,
“Recognizing that the protection of youth during conflict and post-conflict and their participation in peace processes can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security, and being convinced that the protection of civilians, including youth, in armed conflict should be an important aspect of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflict and build peace,
“Noting relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,
“1. Urges Member States to consider ways to increase inclusive representation of youth in decision-making at all levels in local, national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, including institutions and mechanisms to counter violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, and, as appropriate, to consider establishing integrated mechanisms for meaningful participation of youth in peace processes and dispute-resolution;
“2. Calls on all relevant actors, including when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, to take into account, as appropriate, the participation and views of youth, recognising that their marginalisation is detrimental to building sustainable peace in all societies, including, inter alia, such specific aspects as:
“(a) The needs of youth during repatriation and resettlement and for rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction;
“(b) Measures that support local youth peace initiatives and indigenous processes for conflict resolution, and that involve youth in the implementation mechanisms of peace agreements;
“(c) Measures to empower youth in peacebuilding and conflict resolution;
“3. Stresses the importance of Security Council missions taking into account youth-related considerations including, as appropriate, through consultation with local and international youth groups;
“4. Calls upon all parties to armed conflict to comply strictly with the obligations applicable to them under international law relevant to the protection of civilians, including those who are youth, including the obligations applicable to them under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977;
“5. Further calls upon states to comply with the obligations applicable to them under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugee and the Protocol thereto of 1967, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979 and the Optional Protocol thereto of 1999 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
“6. Further calls upon Member States to comply with their respective obligations to end impunity and further calls on them to investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against civilians, including youth, noting that the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern has been strengthened through the work on and prosecution of these crimes by the International Criminal Court, ad hoc and mixed tribunals and specialized chambers in national tribunals;
“7. Calls on all parties to armed conflict to take the necessary measures to protect civilians, including those who are youth, from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence;
“8. Reaffirms that states must respect and ensure the human rights of all individuals, including youth, within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction as provided for by relevant international law and reaffirms that each state bears the primary responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity;
“9. Urges Member States to consider specific measures, in conformity with international law, that ensure, during armed conflict and post conflict, the protection of civilians, including youth;
“10. Urges Members States to facilitate an inclusive and enabling environment in which youth actors, including youth from different backgrounds, are recognised and provided with adequate support to implement violence prevention activities and support social cohesion;
“11. Stresses the importance of creating policies for youth that would positively contribute to peacebuilding efforts, including social and economic development, supporting projects designed to grow local economies, and provide youth employment opportunities and vocational training, fostering their education, and promoting youth entrepreneurship and constructive political engagement;
“12. Urges Member States to support, as appropriate, quality education for peace that equips youth with the ability to engage constructively in civic structures and inclusive political processes;
“13. Calls on all relevant actors to consider instituting mechanisms to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue that involve youth and discourage their participation in acts of violence, terrorism, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination;
“14. Urges Member States to increase, as appropriate, their political, financial, technical and logistical support, that take account of the needs and participation of youth in peace efforts, in conflict and post-conflict situations, including those undertaken by relevant entities, funds and programmes, inter alia, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, United Nations Peacebuilding fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, UN-Women, and by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other relevant bodies, and actors at regional and international levels;
“15. Stresses the vital role the Peacebuilding Commission in addressing the conditions and factors leading to the rise of radicalization to violence and violent extremism among youth, which can be conducive to terrorism, by including in its advice and recommendations for peace building strategies ways to engage youth meaningfully during and in the aftermath of armed conflict;
“16. Encourages Member States to engage relevant local communities and non-governmental actors in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist narrative that can incite terrorist acts, address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, including by empowering youth, families, women, religious, cultural and education leaders, and all other concerned groups of civil society and adopt tailored approaches to countering recruitment to this kind of violent extremism and promoting social inclusion and cohesion;
Disengagement & reintegration
“17. Encourages all those involved in the planning for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration to consider the needs of youth affected by armed conflict, including, inter alia, such specific aspects as:
“(a) evidence-based and gender-sensitive youth employment opportunities, inclusive labour policies, national youth employment action plans in partnership with the private sector, developed in partnership with youth and recognising the interrelated role of education, employment and training in preventing the marginalisation of youth;
“(b) investment in building young persons’ capabilities and skills to meet labour demands through relevant education opportunities designed in a manner which promotes a culture of peace;
“(c) support for youth-led and peacebuilding organisations as partners in youth employment and entrepreneurship programs;
“18. Notes its readiness, whenever measures are adopted under Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, to consider their potential impact on the population, including youth;
“19. Invites relevant entities of the United Nations, Rapporteurs and Special Envoys and Representatives of the Secretary-General, including the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and the Special Envoy for Youth Refugees, to improve the coordination and interaction regarding the needs of youth during armed conflicts and post-conflict situations;
“20. Requests the Secretary-General to carry out a progress study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels, and further requests the Secretary-General to make the results of this study available to the Security Council and all Member States of the United Nations;
“21. Also requests the Secretary-General to include in his reports in the context of situations that are on the agenda of the Council the measures taken in the implementation of this resolution, including information on youth in situations of armed conflict and the existence of measures relating to the prevention, partnerships, participation, protection, disengagement and reintegration of youth under this resolution;
“22. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”