REPORT OF THE ONE DAY NATIONAL WORKSHOP ON PEACEBUILDING IN THE 21ST CENTURY: REVISITING UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2250 HELD ON THE 24TH NOVEMBER 2016 AT THE PENTONRISE EVENT CENTRE, BODIJA, IBADAN, OYO STATE, NIGERIA.
About 40 participants which included members of the Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative across Nigeria, representatives of the Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction, Centre for Peacebuilding and Disaster Relief, All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association, United Nations Information Centre, Lagos, Nigeria Police, Society for Peace Studies and Practice, West African Network for Peacebuilding, Oyo State, Peace and Conflict Students Association, University of Ibadan were all in attendance.
The importance of engaging young men and women in shaping lasting peace led to the adoption of the united nations security council resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security in 2015. This global policy framework spotlighted the nexus between youth, peace and security and also emphasised youth inclusion into institutions and mechanism for conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding. This workshop which is the first phase for the implementation of UNSCR2250 in Nigeria is designed to sensitise and create awareness on the existence of this important policy framework among youth and civil society actors.
OBJECTIVES OF THE WORKSHOP
The objectives of the workshop are as follows;
- To explore the components of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 and how it can be applied.
- To equip and build the capacity of youth and youth-led organisation to effectively advocate and monitor the implementation of UNSCR 2250.
- To institute and seek commitments towards the working group known as UNSCR 2250 Monitoring Group in Nigeria.
The workshop began at 10:05 am with the second stanza of Nigeria‟s national anthem. The National Coordinator, Mr Lawal Rafiu Adeniran while welcoming participants to the workshop emphasized that youth are a major stakeholder if lasting peace and sustainable development goals would be achieved. He pointed out that persons who are below the age of 35 years occupy an estimated 65% of Nigeria‟s population, therefore, given that demographic advantage, their inclusion in decision-making institutions is not negotiable. He urged the youth to come together to demand their participation in decision-making processes.
Goodwill messages were given by Mr Amusat Kolawole of West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Mr Olayiwola Lawal of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) Oyo State Chapter, and Mr Ayo Davies of All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA).
The Keynote Address
The Keynote Speaker, Mr Ronald Kayanja, Country Director of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos while delivering the keynote address lauded the efforts of Nigerian Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) in organizing this important event, as it was the first time that he was engaging with young people on the UNSCR 2250 which was passed in December 2015.
He posited that this was the first time a nongovernmental organization was doing something about this resolution. He stressed that the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) would support the efforts of the Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI) in making sure that Nigeria implements this resolution. He noted that the resolution was important to the World and in particular to Nigeria because it will bring about youth inclusion in the socio-economic and political sphere and due to this, his office will see to it that it supports all efforts that would make sure that this particular resolution is domesticated in Nigeria. He posited that since the resolution was approved by the United Nations Security Council it becomes binding on the Member States to implement the content thereof because they dwell on matters that relate to international peace and security. He quoted a report written by the British Council in 2010 titled, The Next Generation Report “in the worse case Nigeria will see the growing number of restless young people frustrated by lack of opportunity, increased competition for jobs, land, natural resources and political patronage, cities that are increasingly unable to cope with the pressure placed on them, ethnic and religious conflict and radicalization and its political system discredited by its failure to improve lives.
He said implementing the resolution in Nigeria is not an option but a priority as it calls on the Members States to ensure increase participation of young people in decision-making processes. Also, the resolution calls for the protection of young people during conflict situation in compliance with international law, the resolution calls on member states to prevent violence by providing peace education, promote the culture of peace and empower young people to avoid exclusion.
Mr Kayanja, who identified advocacy and awareness creation, domestication and integration of the resolution into the workings of the government, improving the socioeconomic status of young people, training of young people on conflict resolution, peacebuilding and de-radicalization of armed groups and militias, keeping the United Nations accountable on these resolutions especially their agencies in Nigeria, would go a long way in making the resolution effective in Nigeria.
Inauguration of UNSCR 2250 Working Group in Nigeria
The workshop witnessed the formal inauguration of „United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 Monitoring Group in Nigeria’. This working group was charged with the responsibility of coordinating the advocacy and monitoring of the resolution in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Mr Ronald Kayanja, Country Director, United Nations Information Centre who officially inaugurated members of the group handed over “A Guide to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250” packaged by United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY) to all members of the Working Group.
Dr Willie Eselebor, a guest facilitator from the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan dealt with monitoring and evaluating UNSCR 2250. He noted that M&E is high on the developmental agenda of many organisations and it is about what worked, what failed to work and why. He mentioned that projects fail in this part of the world because there is no proper monitoring and evaluating mechanism. He explained that evaluation helps us understand the relevance of a particular intervention in a broader development context. It, therefore, means that as a peacebuilder you need to understand the culture and language of the people and the place in question to bring about positive change.
Dr Eselebor while summarizing his presentation advised that for effective monitoring and evaluation of the UNSCR 2250, NY4PI should monitor the level of acceptance and domestication of the resolution. The level of protection accorded youth during armed conflicts, the level of inclusiveness and consultation in the decision-making process, the opportunities opened to youth to engage in post-conflict peacebuilding and lastly the partnership- political, financial, technical and logistical support to youth in development.