Promoting Sustainable Peace Through National Youth Policies in the Framework of Agenda 2030


Background Information

In 2015, the United Nations made history – the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 that discusses and recognizes the critical role of youth in peace and security. The resolution reinforces the need for active participation, engagement of youth in peace initiatives and formulation of inclusive policies towards achieving sustainable peace. The resolution recognizes the role of young people in security processes integrated into five pillars namely, Participation, Protection, Prevention, Partnership, Disengagement and Reintegration.  Additionally, in 2019, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2419 that calls for increase in the role of youth in negotiation and implementation of peace agreements.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) mandate includes support to policy-making bodies, economic and social analysis and assistance to countries to develop national capacity. DESA/DISD is responsible for supporting and monitoring the implementation of the United Nations World Program of Action for Youth (WPAY), adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 and broadly reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Division for Inclusive Social Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs DESA/DISD), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and UN Country Team is implementing a project that aims at Promoting Sustainable Peace through National Youth Policies in the Framework of 2030 Agenda. 

The current UNDESA project includes policy dialogues between youth and youth-led organizations, national and county government, civil society groups, private sector, international organizations and diverse stakeholders on aspects of Resolutions 2250 and 2419, Sustainable Development Goals, the National Youth Policies related to youth peace and security.

Inception Workshop

On 11-13 April 2019, DESA in collation with UNDP, Commonwealth Secretariat and UN Habitat organized in Kenya an inception capacity building and consultative workshop on “Promoting sustainable peace through the national youth policy”. In part, the workshop sought to enhance the capacity of youth and diverse stakeholders to tackle issues related to youth, peace and security through the national youth policy. The workshop was focused on Nairobi County, and it is expected that project will be rolled out in the other counties in Kenya.

The workshop brought together about 40 participants from Nairobi including government officials and representatives from youth-led organizations, civil society and the United Nations Systems to identify key strategies for achieving sustainable peace in Kenya through the national youth policy, as well as promoting youth participation and contribution to sustainable peace. The three days forum was divided into sessions with key note speeches, panel presentations, plenary discussions and working groups. The working groups were formed to discuss and give submissions on different topics.

Objectives of the Workshop

  • Understand youth peace and security in Kenya through root cause analysis
  • Produce and roll out training module for promoting sustainable peace through National Youth policies
  • Track the progress of the National Youth Policy of Kenya in 2019
  • Presentation of best scalable practices on Youth Peace and Security
  • Reflect on how to implement YPS elements at County level

National Youth Policy

The anchored objectives of the National Youth Policy of Kenya are:

  • Have a healthy youth by ensuring health issues impacting youth are addressed
  • Build a qualified and competent youth
  • Develop talent and creativity among the youth force
  • Civic participation and presentation among youth
  • Promote crime free, secure and united Kenya
  • Support environmental management for sustainable development

Resolutions from the workshop

  • A monthly meeting at selected counties was proposed to roll out the YPS component of the Youth Policy at the local level
  • Develop and launch an advocacy plan that participants were urged to sustain through platforms at the national and county assemblies
  • For full implementation of the YPS element of the Youth Policy at the County level, there is great need of collaboration of UN DESA, Commonwealth and County assemblies.
  • Need to develop an action plan that builds on the discussion and findings of the workshop. The action plan will be accompanied by an advocacy plan on all matters for youth, peace and security.
  • Need to have an organized group, on voluntary basis, that will visit the counties to communicate the ideas and suggestion from the peace and security workshop
  • The framework that will be developed has to be done along the existing framework of the Youth Advisory Board.
  • Since the ministry of Public service, Youth and Gender have one stop youth resource centres, they are going to be part of the structures and will be used to provide spaces for engagement.

Follow up action plan

  • Share with participants the current draft of the Kenya National Youth Policy and International Instruments related to Youth Peace and Security
  • Develop and disseminate synthesized report on the key issues and action points from the workshop
  • Identify the youth peace and security necessities and priorities in Kenya
  • Identify and define all potential stakeholders for the project
  • Hold consultations with diverse stakeholders starting with the Nairobi County government to advance objectives of the workshop and project
  • Organize monthly meetings with youth representatives and relevant representative of national and county government.
  • Share updated versions of and continue conversations on the framework for engagement, action plans and advocacy strategy developed at the workshop
  • Contact relevant organizations and national and county governments and get them involved in the project
  • Identify requirements including financial and human resources and logistics required to roll out the project at different levels.

Click here to download the workshop report.

Click here to download policy brief.