We thank Ireland, Ecuador and Ghana for convening this session and the speakers for their contributions.
Young women and men are at the forefront of democratic and peaceful movements. They are mobilizing for a more just and sustainable world, denouncing abuses of power and fight climate change. In the words of a Swiss youth delegate, “the narrative that only certain issues are relevant to young people is wrong. The younger generation is a stakeholder in all issues of concern to the UN.”
By adopting resolution 2250 and subsequent resolutions related to this agenda, the Security Council has provided a framework to strengthen the participation of youth in peacebuilding efforts in a meaningful and inclusive way.
In this regard, allow me to make the following three proposals:
First, youth must be given the necessary space and safe environment to participate in discussions related to peace and security. Youth are confronted daily with insecurity, threats and violence. Their credibility is often questioned and their human rights violated. In addition, they face barriers to accessing forums where decisions are made, both offline and online. By inviting youth to share their experiences, the Council can gain a better understanding of their role, needs, and activities in the contexts on its agenda. Inviting young people must go hand in hand with protecting them from reprisals.
Second, peacekeeping operations and special political missions must take youth into account in the implementation of their mandates, including in transition planning. Youth are key actors in stabilization and peacebuilding. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, youth are included in the reflections related to the peace mission. The contributions of youth need to be recognized more systematically. In this regard, we welcome the action plan of the Peacebuilding Commission and support its implementation.
Third, we need to involve youth in all their diversity. Young women and men do not face the same risks and vulnerabilities. We need to understand how different factors interact to ensure a differentiated analysis. In this respect, the Youth, Peace and Security and Women, Peace and Security agendas are closely linked.
Switzerland supports the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. In the Security Council, we will ensure that the views, needs and transformative power of young women and men are given an important place in our deliberations.