With the rise of conflict in the local community and internationally, the youth have an important contribution in promoting and maintaining peace, as highlighted in the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250.
In the ongoing Ateneo Peace Talks, the UNSCR was introduced to the Ateneans as the youth’s legal language and experiential narrative, focusing on the five key pillars of action.
“It is in a sense a legal reference… with the purpose to give a legal background for programs, projects, that relate to peace for young people. Specifically, UNSCR is a resolution for the youth,” speaker Colleen Caryl Torres opened in the discussion.
Torres pointed out how the UNSCR 2250 is a pivotal resolution in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, since it specifically deals with the role of the youth.
“The UNSCR is the first resolution that deals specifically with the role of young people in issues of peace and security. This is very tantamount because this is the first law in the history of the world that includes young people in peace-building,” Torres stressed.
Because the youth comprise about half of the world’s population, Torres emphasized the great positive development that would occur if everyone participated in social issues affecting them.
“Imagine if all young people proactively participate in issues that are important to us… that’s 50 percent of the world participating. That would really drive a lot of good in society… because there is strength in numbers. The more young people participate, the more change will happen,” she said.
She further discussed the five key pillars of action as provided in the resolution: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement, and reintegration.
Torres said that the youth should be actively involved in decision-making processes, such as approaching city councilors and officials and suggesting to them to lobby peace laws in the community.
The youth is also encouraged to promote a culture of peace and discouraged to engage in all kinds of violence.
“[Prevention] leans towards supporting youth engagement in peace activities… in the role of the government and NGOs in creating spaces for young people to be recognized and provided adequate support,” she said.
Torres also shared concrete actions that young people can do to promote peace-building, such as spreading awareness in social media sites like Facebook, attending peace talk events, and writing blog posts about UNSCR 2250.
“When advocating, students can… join an org, maybe organize events for awareness, organize workshops, contact the local media… support laws for indigenous peoples,” she added.
The Ateneo Peace Talks is a series of discussions on the UNSCR 2250 in line with the Mindanao Week of Peace, December 3 to 10, during its first leg.
The talks aimed to create a peace table discussing the experiences of the youth on conflict and violence, through the combined efforts of the Youth Peace Mission (YPM), Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Agham Pampulitika sa Ateneo (SAMAPULA), and Ateneo de Davao University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).
Through the lens of the UNSCR 2250, the talks will tackle Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), Federal Constitution draft, and other issues such as violent extremism, while advocating future initiatives for the UNSCR 2250.