A New Focus on Youth
Nigeria launches two key reports on the role of youth to build sustainable peace in the region
The Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA) in collaboration with the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS), the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a launch event to publicly present the reports of the Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, and the Role of Young People in Preventing Violent Extremism in the Lake Chad Basin on the 22nd of March, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Both reports launched brought to the fore the positive roles both girls and boys play and their achievements in bringing about sustainable peace in Nigeria and globally. The Global Study report in particular demonstrated how over 1.8 billion youth globally who have been mostly excluded from peacebuilding and development processes, is the missing peace if their resilience is tapped into and promoted.
The event demonstrated how the reports are part of the initial efforts at implementing the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 on Youth, Peace, and security, and how it is also linked to the International Dialogue for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS) and its New Deal for engagement in conflict affected-states, including the attainment of the SDGs in Nigeria.
The launch was attended by members of the Working Group on UNSCR 2250, members of the IDPS/New Deal Steering Committee, The Director General of the IPCR - Dr. Bakut Tswah Bakut, The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Offences Commission (ICPC) Chairman - Professor Bolaji Owasanoye who was represented by Honourable Hannatu Mohammed, a board member (Youth) of ICPC, the Executive Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa and CSPPS Focal Person for Nigeria – Theophilus Ekpon and the Chief of Army Staff who was represented Brigadier General Omoigui, among others. Several civil society organizations, development partners, and government ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Niger Delta were also represented.
In his opening remarks, Andy Nkemneme of the IPCR said that in order to adequately understand the role youth play in peace-building and security, “the UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security which was passed in December 2015 requests the Secretary-General to carry out Independent Progress Study to recommend effective responses at the local, national and international levels”.
In his welcome address, the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) Dr. Bakut Tswah Bakut described how the IPCR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been collaborating with CSDEA and other stakeholders over the years to ensure that Nigeria becomes an official member of the IDPS. Furthermore, how the youth agenda and especially the launch of the reports will further strengthen that collaboration as the UNSCR 2250 is a crucial focus of the IDPS/New Deal implementation plan. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the enabling environment for dealing with insurgency and all forms of violent extremism in the Lake Chad Basin.
The Chairman of the occasion, Independent Corrupt Practices and Offences Commission (ICPC) Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, represented by Honourable Hannatu Mohammed, a board member (Youth) of ICPC, commended the organizers and stakeholders for showing commitment to the prevention of violent extremism with a particular focus on inclusivity and youth participation. He observed that “the existence of violent extremism can influence corrupt practices and other related offences as the off-shoots of insecurity and violent extremism may leave young people jobless and impoverished to the extent to which they turn to the next seemingly attractive option which regrettably, may be corrupt practices”.
Nigeria’s veteran actor, producer and Nollywood star, Zack Amata was upbeat that concerted efforts, like the research and launch of the reports, were being done by committed individuals and organizations to bring about change. He called for the adoption of music, drama and other forms of media for communication in disseminating information that could impact on the orientation of the youths towards positive attitudes that will engender peace, security and development. Amata noted that instead of the current fake news, the social media; Facebook, Twitter, etc could be used to showcase the stuff the youth are made of and to highlight the consequences of harmful voices.
Main recommendations of the reports were presented at the launch event. To read the full recommendations:
Major media outlets were on ground to cover the event, including the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), The African Independent Television (AIT), OAKTV, Sun Newspapers, This day Newspapers, Premium Times, Blue Print Newspapers, Leadership Newspapers, Raypower FM and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). It is also believed that over 15 million Nigerians where reached via the various media outlets that covered the program.
1- Violent Extremism: Stakeholders Make Case For Youth Involvement
2- Violent extremism can cause corruption – ICPC Chairman
3- FG must curb violent extremism among youth - ICPC