By Angela Atabo
A youth group, Building Blocks for Peace Foundation, on Thursday tasked stakeholders on the implementation of youth, peace and security agenda across all levels in Nigeria.
Executive Director of the group, Rafiu Lawal made the call at the 2021 Nigeria Youth for Peace virtual conference, organised by the foundation in collaboration with United Nations Information Centre and other partners.
The virtual conference was to commemorate the 6thAnniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security.
He said that the implementation of the agenda would contribute immensely to the fight against corruption and violent conflicts.
“Given the state of young people in Nigeria, implementing the youth, peace, and security agenda is not a choice but a necessity.
“Young people should be included in peace processes because they occupy more than 65 per cent of Nigeria’s population.
“They are at the centre stage of the violent conflicts happening all around the country either as circumstantial perpetrators or as victims.
“They bear the consequences of the political decisions and actions taken by leaders of today,’’ Lawal said.
According to him, since the adoption of the UNSCR 2250 resolution, stakeholders in Nigeria have embarked on domesticating and localising the framework across all levels.
He noted that Nigeria became the first country in Africa and second in the world behind Finland to adopt the National Action Plan on UNSCR 2250.
Lawal stressed that young people’s participation in political process was decisive to advancing the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the conference, the executive director said it was designed to bring together relevant actors in peace building and peace processes in Nigeria for strategic and action-oriented discussions, to leverage the potentials of Nigerian youth for peace and development.
He added that it was meant to secure institutional and political commitments for the operationalisation of the youth, peace and security agenda at national and state levels.
Lawal expressed the hope that the participants would make a commitment to implement the National Action Plan, provide roadmap for advocacy and develop State Action Plans.
Ulla Mueller, Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Nigeria, represented by his deputy, Erica Goldson said that the event was timely, especially now that Nigeria was faced with security challenges.
Mueller said that although Nigeria had at different stages within the last twenty years made progress to establish peace, however, these efforts were compromised by the increasing weight of banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, violent extremism across the different regions.
She said that Nigeria’s adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 was key to helping the youths and women have a voice in the maintenance and promotion of peace, and development practices.
The keynote speaker, Lantana Abdullahi, Co-Chair Women Mediators Network Nigeria, commended the launch of Nigeria National Action Plan UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security.
Abdullahi urged the youths to take advantage of all the tools and policies provided and strive to drive the process.
She explained that the resolution had provided the youth with greater voice in decision making, facilitating their inclusion and empowerment at all levels.
Abdullahi said political participation was key to addressing the challenges and needs of young people in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Civil Society Action Group on United Nations Security Council Resolution 225O in Nigeria was inaugurated, to support and track the implementation of the National Action Plan. (NAN)