The UN Secretary-General highlighted, in his 2012 report on “Peacebuilding in the Aftermath of Conflict”, that, “a successful peacebuilding process must be transformative and create space for a wider set of actors — including, but not limited to, representatives of women, young people, victims and marginalized communities; community and religious leaders; civil society actors; and refugees and internally displaced persons — to participate in public decision-making on all aspects of post-conflict governance and recovery”.1 Fostering social cohesion and trust through an inclusive and participatory peacebuilding process during and after a transition or conflict is a challenging but necessary task. Many key stakeholders remain on the margins or excluded from the processes. In particular, the potential contribution and inclusion of young people to effective peacebuilding has received little attention and support. Yet, young people’s leadership and roles in preventing and resolving conflict, violence and extremism are rich resources essential to building sustainable peace. Young people are valuable innovators and agents of change, and their contribution should be actively supported, solicited and regarded as part of building peaceful communities and supporting democratic governance and transition. Young people’s participation promotes civic engagement and active citizenship.
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