Youth for Peace Africa Programme, way to go

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Y P Africa Study
Y P Africa Study
Spining

CAPE TOWN: JUNE 16 in this year of 2022, will mark 46 years since the 1976 Student uprising.

And as part of the youth month programme, there will also be commemoration of the Youth Day, which is on JUNE 16.

It would do well for South Africa to galvanize its youths and resources into positive and constructive action in developing the country and the African continent.

Even though African Youth Month is in November, the opportunity for South Africa’s youth to engage, interact and cooperate with their African counterparts on a meaningful and full time basis in the development of the continent is long overdue.

For example, one area to be explored would include the Youth for Peace (Y4P) Africa Programme.

Y4P was launched in September 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria, as part of efforts to implement Article 17 of the AU Youth Charter, 665th Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), UNSCR 2250 and 2419, the Peace and Security Department in collaboration with the Youth Division and African Governance Architecture of the Department for Political Affairs.

In order to facilitate effective coordination, the PSD established an Inter-Departmental Task Force on Youth Peace and Security with all relevant departments of the Commission.

The Y4P Africa program seeks to effectively engage, involve, and collaborate with young women and men as well as organized youth groups in the promotion of peace and security on the continent.

With the aim being to contribute towards changing the negative perception of youth as harbingers of violence or problems to be solved to partners for peace.

And in this regard, the Y4P program advocated for the first PSC open session on Youth Peace and Security, which was held on November 8,2018 in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day.

Key decisions of the communiqué of the 807th meeting of the PSC include clarion call to member states to urgently implement UNSCR 2250, 2419 and other regional and continental instruments relating to youth peace and security; Request to the Commission to undertake a study to assess the role and contributions of youth in peace and security on the continent; Appointment of five regional African Youth Peace Ambassadors, who will work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace on the continent; as well as the finalization of the ongoing framework on youth peace and security.

Moreover, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 807th meeting held on November 8, 2018, to its first-ever open session on Youth, Peace, and Security in commemoration of the Africa Youth Day, and adopted the following decision:

The 807th PSC Decision calls for Member States to:

– urgently implement UNSCR 2250, 2419 and other regional and continental instruments relating to youth peace and security;

– Request to the Commission to undertake a study to assess the role and contributions of youth in peace and security on the continent;

– appointment of five regional African Youth Peace Ambassadors, who will work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace on the continent;

– as well as the finalization of the ongoing framework on youth peace and security. Decided to institutionalize and regularize an annual open session dedicated to the theme of “Youth, Peace and Security in Africa”.

Communique of the 933rd meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) on: ” Youth, Peace and Security in Africa”.

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 933rd meeting held on June 23 2020, on Youth, Peace and Security in Africa adopted the Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security and the 10 year implementation plan as well as endorsed the study on the Roles and Contributions of Youth to peace and security in Africa.

Furthermore, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) dedicated its 963rd meeting, held on November 12, 2020, to an Open Session on the theme: “Youth, Peace and Security: Advancing Youth Roles and Capacities for Silencing the Guns in Africa” in commemoration of the Africa Youth Month.

Meanwhile, the decision [Assembly/AU/Dec. 753] adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government at its 33rd Ordinary Session held from 9 to 10 February 2020 requested the AU Commission to institutionalize the Youth for Peace Africa Programme within the Peace and Security Department with the designation of a dedicated desk to coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders and facilitate its full operationalization with a view to meeting the increasing expectations of the youth across the Continent; and endorsed the five African Regional Youth Ambassadors for Peace representing the five regions of the AU and encourages them to promote youth efforts on peace and security; In this respect, congratulating the five (5) regional African youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP).

According to the AU, the PSC requested the Commission to appoint five (5) regional African Youth Ambassadors for Peace (AYAP) to work with the AU Youth Envoy in championing the promotion of peace and security on the continent. In tandem with the communiqué of the 807th meeting of the PSC, the Y4P Africa program in collaboration with the RECs/RMs and the AU Youth Envoy launched a call for application to all African youth and afterwards shortlisted 15 applicants, three (3) from each of the five (5) regions of Africa for a training and assessment workshop in November 2019.

And the training and assessment workshop provided a platform to sensitize the 15 applicants on the AU normative frameworks and operations on peace and security and also accorded an opportunity for the RECs/RMs, AUC and development partners to assess the capacity and competence of the youth, a development that facilitated the selection of one AYAP per region.

The selected AYAPs were presented to the PSC at its second open session on YPS in November 2019 for consideration and approval. Subsequently, on recommendation by the PSC, the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of States and Governments held in February 2020 endorsed the appointment of the AYAPs.

In collaboration with the relevant RECs/RMs and AU, the AYAPs are elected for a two-year non-renewable tenure and are mandated to advocate and promote the mainstreaming and inclusion of young Africans in peace and security by amplifying their contributions and resilience, challenges and encouraging policy and programmatic actions to address the challenges and enhance their contributions.

But looking at the South African question, there’s clearly some way to go to get all the youth on-board.

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