Who: The African Union Commission (AUC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), the Horn of Africa Youth Network, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Save the Children International, with the support of the Government of Burundi.
Why: Over the last seventeen years, there have been deliberate efforts across Africa to recognize the positive roles of young people as peacemakers and promoting their active participation in peacebuilding efforts. This has taken political goodwill and a series of legal and policy developments to achieve positive outcomes.
Objectives of the Ministerial Conference:
- To advocate for more inclusive participation and meaningful engagement with young people as an asset in peacebuilding and conflict prevention mechanisms.
- To support a platform for vision-sharing by the AU Champion for Youth, Peace, and Security on the continent’s Youth, Peace and Security agenda.
- To review and assess the implementation of international and regional legal and policy frameworks for youth in peace and security for different countries in East Africa.
- To popularize regional, national, and continental legal and policy frameworks that promote youth’s role in peace and security.
- To showcase and highlight the varied initiatives and programmes developed or endorsed by governments, RECs, and RMs to capacitate young people in East Africa, particularly in advancing peace and security, including early warning systems such as COMWARN and IGAD Early Warning System.
- To create partnerships between CSO, INGOs, governments, regional bodies (RECs and RMs), Continental bodies (AU), and International and Global Development partners around varied conflict prevention, management, and resolution mechanisms across the region.
- To amplify youth voices as champions of peace by affording them a platform to share their experiences, including existing opportunities and challenges
- Advocacy for inclusive policies and increased participation and meaningful engagement of young people in decision-making processes and programmes by governments and regional bodies.
- Increased understanding of the current YPS initiatives across the East Africa Region by the various governments, RECs and RMs, and the AU, including limitations and successes.
- Emphasis on partnerships and the significance of governments, AU, RECS/RMs, development partners, and the young people working together to advance the East Africa Region’s youth, peace, and security agenda.
- Development of national roadmaps to implement the YPS agenda at the national level.