Meeting on Shughel Shabab: Youth-led regional Advocacy Media Campaign on “Youth and Peace in the Arab region”
Shughel Shabab is an advocacy media campaign designed and led by a group of committed Arab Youth peacebuilders and supported by UNESCO and UNDP to showcase the valuable role of youth in peacebuilding in the region. Launched at the inter-agency portal “Youth4peace” on 21 September at the celebration of the International Peace Day, it aims to provide a platform to give young peacebuilders a voice, and to promote more inclusive policies and peace processes that make room for young peacebuilders in the region. It also aims to change the negative perception of youth in the media, and consequently by governments and society.
The proposed two-day meeting will gather a group of 25-30 youth peacebuilders including volunteer campaigners of Shughel Shabab from 7 Arab countries. The two day meeting aims to collect experiences, good practices and lessons learnt in partnership with BBC TV programme “Duniaya”. It will be held in Beirut, Lebanon, from 24 to 25 November 2017.
In December 2015, the Security Council adopted the groundbreaking Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. For the first time, the UN Security Council recognized the positive role young people can play in conflict prevention, the prevention of violent extremism and peacebuilding. The Resolution was championed by Jordan, and adopted unanimously. UNSCR 2250 mandates the Secretary-General “to carry out a progress study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels,” and to present the results of the Study to Member States of the United Nations.
The Arab States Consultation (Amman, December 2016) was the first of a series of regional consultations for the Progress Study to monitor the implementation of the Resolution 2250. It brought together 62 youth from various Arab States to consider common challenges and suggestions to promote youth participation in peacebuilding. This discussion was critical in the Arab States as over 60 percent of the population is under the age of 30, and the current youth generation is historically the largest youth population this region has witnessed over the past 50 years, making up 30% of its population of 370 million.
The Consultation not only aimed to inform the Progress Study and the Regional Roadmap, but also to identify youth participants who could mobilize continued action. It helped youth and partners including UN agencies in exploring the potential and assess the bottlenecks facing youth-led peacebuilding initiatives. The Consultation was supported by UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNPBSO.
The proposed Youth-led regional Advocacy Media Campaign “Shughel Shabab” is one concrete follow up to the recommendations of the above mentioned Consultation. One of the outcomes of the Consultation included consensus on the need for greater advocacy efforts that promote youth participation in peacebuilding at the community, national and regional levels.