BBFORPEACE, UN INFORMATION CENTRE COMMEMORATE 6TH ANNIVERSARY OF UNSCR 2250 IN NIGERIA

Cross section of participants at the event

Building Blocks for Peace Foundation- a youth-led civil society organisation has charged all relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the youth, peace, and security agenda across all levels in Nigeria. According to the Executive Director, Mr. Rafiu Lawal, given the state of young people in Nigeria, implementing the youth, peace, and security agenda is not a choice but a necessity.

Mr. Lawal noted that young people should be included in peace processes because they occupy more than 65 percent of Nigeria’s population, they are at the center stage of the violent conflicts happening all around the country either as circumstantial perpetrators or as victims, and lastly, because they bear the consequences of the political decisions and actions taken by leaders of today.

The call was made at the 2021 Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Conference organised by the Building Blocks for Peace Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre and the Nigeria Youth for Peace partners to commemorate the 6th Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security on the 14th December 2021.

Event Background
On the 9th December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security. This resolution marks a significant change in the perception and engagement of youth in peace and security conversation globally. Since the adoption of this resolution, stakeholders in Nigeria has embarked on the pathway of domesticating and localizing this framework across all levels.

On the 1st November 2021, Nigeria became the first country in Africa and second in the world behind Finland to adopt a National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security-which is the official national framework for engaging youth people on peace and security based on the five pillars of UNSCR 2250.

Young people’s participation is decisive to advance on the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and in that regard, they are actively working to support peacebuilding efforts and their importance relies on their capacity for transformation innovation aimed at shaping better societies.

Welcome Address

Mr. Rafiu Lawal, the Executive Director of Building Blocks for Peace Foundation noted that the Nigeria Youth 4 Peace conference was organized to commemorate the 6th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security and celebrate the role of young people in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The event is designed to bring together relevant actors constructively influencing peacebuilding and peace processes in Nigeria and provide a platform for strategic and action-oriented discussions on how to leverage the potentials of Nigerian Youth for Peace and development. The conference aims to secure institutional and political commitments to advance both national and state-level operationalization of the Youth, Peace, and Security agenda, and to strengthen their political will and commitment.

Opening remarks

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)Nigeria, Country Representative Ulla Mueller, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Representative, Erica Goldson, in her remarks, Erica stated clearly that “this event is timely, especially at this moment Nigeria is going through series of security challenges while the country has at different stages within the last twenty years made progress to establish peace, however, these efforts have been compromised in recent years by the increasing weight of banditry, kidnapping terrorism, violent extremism across the different regions.”

UNFPA Nigeria, Deputy Representative, Erica Gold

She further stated that the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 is key to helping young and women have a voice in the maintenance and promotion of peace development and practices across the nation. According to her, UNFPA remains committed to the National Action Plan on Youth, Peace, and Security and would support young people towards the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 across the country.

The Keynote Speaker’s statement

The keynote speaker Mrs. Lantana Bako Abdullahi, Co-Chair Women Mediators Network Nigeria, commended the youth and government for the launch of Nigeria National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security.

‘She urged the youths to take advantage of all the tools and policies provided and the need for them to drive the process as the resolution yielded a greater voice in decision making, facilitating inclusion and empowerment of youths at all levels. Therefore, political participation is key to addressing the challenges and needs of young people in Nigeria.

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion highlighted the various ways to advance, strengthen and support young peoples’ roles as stated in the Five Pillars of action of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250.

Some of the panel speakers at the event urged the government and all concerned to ensure that young people are supported to contribute meaningfully to peace and security in Nigeria. Mr. Nathaniel Awuapila who spoke about the inclusion and participation of youth in peace processes noted that young people must be included in peace negotiations and mediation in the country. Other speakers called for adequate protection of youth and increased partnerships for youth-led initiatives.

During the event, solidarity statements were also given on behalf of the UN Information Centre, the African Union Youth for Peace Program, and the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace, and Security. According to the UN Information Centre, National Information Officer, Dr Oluseyi Soremekun, the UN will continue to support Nigeria’s youth to positively contribute to the country’s peace and development.

Closing

The event ended with the official launch of the “Civil Society Action Group on United Nations Security Council Resolution 225O’’ in Nigeria. According to the organizers, the monitoring group will help support and track the implementation of the National Action Plan on UNSCR 2250 in Nigeria.

Written by

BBFORPEACE Media Team

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