Youth And Peacebuilding

Youth and Gender Promotion Initiatives

In Sri Lanka, the youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies and approaches are in place and implemented. UNV aims to empower women and youth by building upon a greater understanding of peacebuilding issues and thereby catalyse the participation and engagement of young people in governance and decision-making processes, and responses related to sustaining peace and security.

Virtual Student Round Table on Youth & Peace

A virtual student roundtable, on youth and peace in collaboration with the Akita International University and Sabaragamuwa University, was held from the 21st to 22nd February 2018, at the Sabaragamuwa University. This Intercultural virtual dialogue between students from Akita International University and students from the Sabaragamuwa University was conducted via Skype and facilitated by the UNV Peace Building Fund project. The objective of the event was to raise the awareness of the participants towards peacebuilding and enrich the knowledge of peace building amongst the students, both Japanese and Sri Lankan. The project sought to broaden the intercultural perspective of the students and strived to develop a mutual understanding between them.

The Virtual Student Round Table on Youth and Peace was planned, facilitated, and implemented by Mr. Takashi Kogoma, a UN University Volunteer from Japan, with the support of the UNV PBF team that included, Mr. Ishtartha Wellaboda, Mr. Darshatha Gamage, and Ms. Sooji Han.
On the first day of the program, after the presentation as to the Agenda 2030, the SDGs, UNSCR2250 Youth, Peace and Security, the participants discussed a topic, “What does peace mean to you?” Students found out differences in the definition of peace in each country. On the second day, a cultural presentation was conducted from each country. After the presentation, the participants discussed “peace building by youth”, which enabled them to find out how they can contribute to create the sustainable peace in each country.
The 'Virtual Student Round Table on Youth & Peace' intercultural dialogue was fruitful. We believe that it will have a positive impact on youth, foster mutual understanding, and encourage them to take steps to address hostility towards ethnic minorities.

Participation of Youth and Women in the Peacebuilding Process

Working under the umbrella of the UN Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP), this project aims to implement the following indicative output:

  • Outcome One: Youth are actively and positively engaged in the peacebuilding process so that their voices are reflected in key policy and decision-making processes and outcomes at the national and sub-national levels
  • Outcome Two: State decision-making processes are more equitable and inclusive to enable women’s meaningful participation and leadership

This proposal aims to support the participation of youth and women, particularly those wo are the most marginalized, in the post-conflict environment, focusing on the importance of investing in youth and women in peacebuilding while addressing existing assumptions and theories of change regarding youth, women and peacebuilding. It is consistent with the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (Youth, Peace and Security) and UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820 (Women, Peace and Security) while complementing the UNCG’s Seven-Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding.

Conducted as a joint programme between UNV, UNFPA and UNWomen; UNV in cooperation with UNFPA undertakes the implementation of Outcome One while UNWomen directly implements Outcome Two.

Joint Project: UNFPA, UNV and UN Women

In the post-conflict environment, although over the quarter of the population is below the age of 29[1], young people have been left at the margin of setting up the nation’s peacebuilding and development agenda in Sri Lanka[2]. On 9 December 2015, the UN Security Council adopted anonymously Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) – dedicating, for the first time, a full resolution to the positive role young people can and do play in conflict prevention, peacebuilding and the prevention of violent extremism. This project seeks at empowering women and youth with a greater understanding of peacebuilding issues and aims at catalysing their participation and engagement in governance and decision-making processes and responses related to sustaining peace.

[1] the United Nations Population Fund Sri Lanka. (2015). 20.4 Million. Sri Lanka’s Population at a Glance.

[2] N.D. Mel & R. Venugopal. (2016). Peacebuilding Context Assessment Sri Lanka 2016.

Promoting peace in Sri Lanka through training, dialogue and outreach for peacebuilding with youth, youth groups and volunteer organizations including psycho-social support

Innovative training approaches, including the use of inter-group dialogues, will be used in order to promote the better understanding of the issues related to peacebuilding, and thus they are able to understand their potential role to promote peacebuilding. This entails the supporting of the activities of VIO (Volunteers Involving Organizations) and the development of university volunteer schemes, as well as the mobilizing and training university students for peacebuilding. UN Youth Volunteers will be mobilized in VIOs to promote knowledge sharing. Youth leadership trainings, furthermore, will be conducted for the purpose of enhancing the participation and mobilization of youth to prevent violent extremism. It also involves working with the institutionalised mechanisms such as regional SGBV forums to support their outreach functions, with the view to ensuring young victims and young perpetrators have access to psycho-social support and related assistance.

National advocacy on the role of youth in peacebuilding demonstrating youth as positive agents of change

Young Champions for Peace will be identified through the project’s outreach activities and promoted through a variety of media channels. The V-Awards which will focus on the interlinkage between volunteerism and peace, is one of the main components of the national advocacy campaign and will aim at recognizing individuals who make an extraordinary and selfless contribution to the society and rewarding the most outstanding volunteers at the national level.

It will focus on supporting youth, youth groups and volunteer groups to translate their understanding and ideas into action. It will include seed funding to support the piloting of originals ideas and concepts, and the establishment of “Social Change-maker Labs”.

Research to better understand the dynamics of violent extremism in Sri Lanka and the potential role of youth and volunteers in addressing it

This project will engage the support of a research organization or academic institution to look into issues with specific focus on Sri Lankan context. The findings of the research will be used to inform the content of the outreach, the training under the activity 1.1 and policy advocacy with the Government to reduce the risk which youth involves in violent activity and to promote non-violent norms at community and school level. The project also will support the implementation of the National Consultations and FGDs on UNSC Resolution 2250 and on volunteerism and citizen engagement in the prevention of violent extremism.

Conduct pre and post monitoring and evaluation of the capacity building programmes of youth-led and youth-focused organizations and the youth leadership training, in peacebuilding and decision making processes

Leveraging on volunteer networks the project aims at setting up an infrastructure for citizen monitoring within youth-led and youth-focused organizations to support the implementation of this activity and ensures the long-term sustainability of monitoring capacity.

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