On June 12th, 2019, the 49th IPI Vienna Seminar took place at the Federal Ministry of Austria for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMEIA) in Vienna, focusing on the role of young people as agents of peace and social change at the global, regional, national and local level.
Welcome remarks were delivered by Karin Proidl, Director of International Organizations at the BMEIA and Adam Lupel, Vice President of the International Peace Institute (IPI), who stressed the importance of cooperating with youth for addressing violence, crime and corruption and promoting peace.
“We need to give young people face from different levels and make their voices heard,” said BKMC CEO Monika Froehler at the first session on “The United Nations in Vienna: 40 years of Promoting Peace and Security.”
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), our world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24, and the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Out of these, Froehler mentioned, “408 million young people live in conflict zones.” In addition, within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future. Froehler rightly pointed out that gender inequality adds to the barrier for youth in participating in peace-building process, which is why empowering both women and young people is equally important.
“We cannot achieve sustainable peace if young generation is not included,” said Samuel Goda, Special Representative of the OSCE CiO Special Representatives on Youth and Security, at his keynote. As a youth representative, he stressed “young people need to have ownership” in tackling global issues.
A number of other youth representatives from different sectors spoke at the seminar, including Nour Barakeh who is Collaborator of SDG 5 Thrive! and Suad Mohamed who serves at the Austrian Red Cross and Diakonie Refugee Service.
Froehler introduced active youth activists such as the UN Youth Envoy as well as existing youth initiatives such as the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to support and partner with them. She also strongly recommended a book titled We are Here.
Learn more about the seminar: https://www.ipinst.org/…/IPI-Vienna-Seminar-2019_Agenda_Par…