Swedish statement at the UN Security Council introducing the draft resolution on Youth, Peace and Security
Statement on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council by Ambassador Olof Skoog introducing the draft resolution on Youth, Peace and Security, 06 June 2018, New York.
2018 marks the 50-year anniversary of an historic and tumultuous year in the history of many of our countries. 1968 heralded the arrival of a new generation. They marked their arrival loudly with protests and demonstrations, including the occupation of universities, aimed at challenging elites and changing the status quo. Many of the young leaders of these movements would go on to be leaders within their countries, bringing the 'spirit of '68' to the organisations they once railed against. And youth are constantly challenging the status quo. Just one reminder of how the power of youth can and will herald change.
During the Open Debate on Youth, Peace and Security in April, my delegation underlined the need to harness the power and leadership of youth as effective peacebuilders in all aspects of sustaining peace.
I am delighted to introduce today's draft resolution, together with Peru, on youth, peace and security. It builds on the ground-breaking resolution 2250, so ably shepherded through the Council by Jordan in 2015. And I want to acknowledge today again, Jordan's continued leadership and championing of the youth, peace and security agenda within the United Nations.
The draft resolution before the Council today builds on and complements resolution 2250. It does so in a number of ways:
Firstly, it underlines the contribution that young people can make to peace and security if they are actively engaged and their knowledge, strengths and enthusiasm are unlocked and taken seriously.
Secondly, it recognises the diversity of youth and the need to counter any stigmatization, and that youth have different, aspirations, opportunities and challenges. Every voice must be heard. The resolution also highlights the need to recognise the specific challenges and discrimination young women face.
Thirdly, it highlights how youth constitute a crucial part of implementing the 2030 Agenda and in the advancement of peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
Fourthly, the resolution calls on both member-states and all UN entities to enhance the level and quality of dialogue with youth. This means inviting, including and listening to youth, and youth-led civil society, in our work.
I would like to thank all delegations for their positive contribution to the negotiations on this resolution. I want to pay a special word of thanks to our initiator and co-penholder, Peru, and also for the fact that so many countries have decided to co-sponsor the resolution this morning.
The resolution marks an advance in our collective determination to ensure that youth can play their rightful and necessary role in the work of this Council and in building peace across the world. We have heard their voices in this Council, most recently in April. We should not only listen to them, and heed them, but also learn from them.
I want to conclude with a quote from U.S. Senator, Robert F Kennedy, who died 50 years ago today, he said:
"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease."
We must never seek to quell these qualities of youth, either in the next generation of leaders or in ourselves.