UN Youth Envoy
In March 2019, BKMC CEO Monika Froehler participated in the first ever International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes was hosted in Helsinki, Finland.
The Symposium was co-hosted with the generous support of the Governments of Finland, Qatar, and Colombia and co-organized by the United Nations Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY), and Search for Common Ground in partnership with UNDPPA, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOY.
Young people under the age of 30 accounts for over half of the world’s population. It is estimated that 600 million youth live in fragile and conflict-affected states. These figures underscore the need to understand the importance of engaging them in conflict prevention & mediation processes – a domain where they are often marginalized. Despite their numbers and their progressive and effective interventions for sustaining peace processes, young people’s efforts and contributions remain undervalued.
UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace, and Security is the first ever resolution to recognize the positive role young people play in maintenance and promotion of peace and security. UNSCR 2419 (2018) reiterates the importance of youth participation by urging for the inclusive representation of young people.
The International Symposium was envisaged as a key step in moving forward the implementation of UNSCR 2250 and UNSCR 2419 as it relates to inclusive peace processes with young people’s participation. It is time to create space and opportunities for young people in the formal processes of mediation.
Ⓒ Nikke Puskala
A CTBTO youth forum “Towards Global Peace: Strengthening Youth‘s Involvement in the Global Nuclear Dialogue” took place on May 31th, 2019 at the BKMC partner Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. The event featured distinguished speakers including Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo of the The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), and both Co-chairs and Board members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens:
- Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria
- Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
- Ambassador Shin Dong-ik, former Korean Ambassador to Austria
The Youth Forum on Global Citizenship and Youth Inclusion for the SDGs Peace and Security was held at the CTBT Science & Technology Conference on June 24th, 2019 in Vienna, Austria. The Forum was co-organized by the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, CTBTO, CTBT Youth Group, and the Akademisches Forum für Außenpolitik Wien (AFA).
After welcome remarks by CTBTO’s Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo, BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer delivered a special address, encouraging the young audience to be changemakers. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler moderated an interactive panel discussion of young leaders who addressed the challenges they had faced to promote change and shared their insights about youth platforms that work to include young voices in the discussions.
Ⓒ Anna Rauchenberger
Workshop at the Conference
On the margins of the CTBT Science & Technology Conference, BKMC Board member Ambassador Kim Won-soo particiapted in a youth workshop. He gave advices to the CTBTO Youth Group members on how to actively get involved in a peacebuilding process and what are the most effective methods and strategies to make their voices heard and actions implemented.
Ⓒ Anna Rauchenberger
The CTBTO Youth Group visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre to participate in a workshop moderated by CEO Monika Froehler on June 28th, 2019. The group was briefed on the Centre’s mission and work and discussed on the topic of the SDG implementation and rooms for improvement. Coming from all different countries such as Russia, Mexico, Iran, Egypt, Austria, the US, etc., the young leaders gathered raised issues on the lack of education provided on the SDGs, lack of local, national and regional strategies for implementing the SDGs, and lack of acknowledgement of the notion of global citizenship or awareness on global issues such as climate change.
IPI Vienna Seminar
“Partnering with Young People for Prevention: Sustaining Peace and Addressing Violence, Crime and Corruption”
On June 12th, 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. BKMC CEO Monika Froehler featured as a speaker at the first session on “The United Nations in Vienna: 40 years of Promoting Peace and Security.”
“408 million young people live in conflict zones,” Froehler said, “we need to give young people face from different levels and make their voices heard.”
Ⓒ Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs