The youth play important roles in the development of any sector. Their vibrancy
and out of ordinary thinking has created tremendous change in the world. Despite their continued contribution to society, the youth are often side-lined in peacekeeping conversations.
It is unfortunate, and unfair to keep the youth out of issues that affect them. Challenges such as radicalization, displacement, and even death affect many youths. To rectify this, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 (2015) which urges Member States to Increase Representation of Youth in Decision-Making at All Levels.
Challenges facing youth peacekeeping missions
While there have been steps as by the UN to include the youth in peace building, they still face challenges.
Lack of funding to sustain youth peace keeping initiative tops the list. The youth lack financial support allows them to run projects successfully. They are unable to fund the projects while working to sustain themselves and their families.
The youth lack training on how to conduct peacekeeping missions. The diversity of most places, especially in the African continent requires rationale and compassion. Lack of knowledge on mitigation and mediation processes makes them unable to conduct their businesses.
Perceived inexperience by the elder people in the society is another reason why the youth are side lined. While it is important to appreciate the wisdom of the elderly, they often overlook the asset that the youth can be in establishing a peaceful society.
Increased economic concerns relegates peacekeeping missions to the rear until a problem arises. Peacekeeping is not seen as an issue that needs continuous address and the solutions often arrive when so much damage has already occurred.
Correction measures to undertake
Collaborate with youth-led organizations aimed at building a peaceful society. Through partnerships, the youth will gain knowledge, experience, and funds to create more impact.
Create suitable environment for youth peacekeeping missions by providing learning space. Building community centers and disseminating educational materials can enable the programs to create positive change.
Facilitating inter-community dialogue, sports, and shows to promote culture will build cohesion. These programs can be an important place to hold trainings and conversations on peacekeeping among the youth.
Make peace keeping a continuous dialogue to nip any arising issues in the bud. Teaching peaceful methods of conflict resolution will empower the youth to be the peacekeepers within their own communities. This way, any problem that arises is solved before it turns disastrous.
Recognizing the skills and talents of the youth and supporting them will help give them a livelihood. Most radicalization cases result from unemployment and poverty. Engaging the youth in craft, carpentry, and art will channel their energy and time into positive use. Supporting the marketing and sale of this craft will give them purpose and hope.
Customize the needs of different youths in different communities and cater to their specific issue. This will ensure they feel seen and heard, which helps build a point of dialogue.
The youth are the future of any country that hopes to prosper yet a country cannot prosper without stability and peace. To build a peaceful community, a country needs to engage all its people, especially the youth who are often weaponized to cause destruction. Educating the youth and establishing different ways in which they can be productive will boost the economy and their livelihood.