Women and Youth
2020, 2021

Advancing the Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security Agendas

The global regulating frameworks for sustainable, comprehensive and inclusive peace have changed significantly over the last two decades. The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda  which came into place after the United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000) and seven subsequent WPS resolutions, the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda UNSCR 2250, adopted in 2015, and the evolving concept of sustaining peace, outlined in parallel resolutions of the Security Council UNSCR 2419 (2018) and UNSCR 2535 (2020) all call for inclusive programme design, planning, policy development and decision-making processes for conflict prevention, resolution and recovery. Resolution 2250 places youth on the sustaining peace agenda, recognizing their important contribution to the sustainability of peace and prevention of violence. Resolution 1325 calls for all to assert women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts to maintain and promote peace and security, and to increase the participation of women and incorporate gender perspectives in all United Nations peace and security efforts. 

Together, these policy frameworks provide a blueprint for the UN’s inclusive peacebuilding efforts. 

To foster engaging dialogue aimed at inspiring action and invigorating learning among women and youth peacebuilders, UNSSC hosted the Torino Forum for Sustaining Peace in 2020 – the first such event by the College to advance the two agendas. The Torino Forum welcomed more than 400 participants and 70 speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences related to the WPS and YPS agendas. It proved to be a timely initiative given the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which peace intensified peace and security challenges —  and underlined the need for knowledge sharing and dialogue with different changemakers and youth actors across the UN system and beyond – alongside UN staff and practitioners 

Answering to the need for increased capacity development on Youth, Peace and Security as expressed in the first Report of the Secretary-General on YPS, in 2021, the UN System Staff College, in partnership with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), developed two learning offers on YPS: the online course “Realizing the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda” and the “Youth, Peace and Security Primer”. Whereas the online course targets YPS advisers and focal points in the UN system for targeted support on YPS, the Primer is a free, open, online learning tool available to all practitioners, including the UN, government, civil society and academia that is available in Arabic, English, French, Spanish & Portuguese. Both learning offers built upon on the “Youth, Peace and Security: A Programming Handbook” developed by UNFPA, UNDP & DPPA with support from FBA. 

These training resources have been taken up by over 600 participants to date, and aim to establish a common base of understanding and approach for the UN system and partners in implementing the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. They are meant to inform, in broad terms, the programmes and actions of all UN entities working with and for youth in peace and security.