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SOLVE DECLARATION on Empowering Youth for the Promotion of Peace and Prevention of Conflicts: Call for signatures

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The International Security and Conflict Analysis Network (iSCAN) is calling for support to endorse the SOLVE 2021 Declaration, which was adopted during the SOLVE 2021 Conference entitled "Empowering Youth for the Promotion of Peace and Prevention of Conflicts". The Declaration, the outcome document of the Conference, can be signed both by organisations and individuals alike.

The Declaration includes the participants’ recommendations and commitments concerning all the topics discussed during the conference’s thematical workshops, namely the role of youth with regards to conflict management, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, the special vulnerability of youth in conflict and post-conflict settings, the role of youth regarding the creation of a culture of peaceful coexistence, climate change action, and action against terrorism.

The general notion that runs through all the Declaration’s clauses is that youth can and do constitute drivers of change and can and do serve as agents of peace. Having this in mind, the Declaration expresses the need for youth empowerment in terms of ensuring their voices are being heard with regards to conflict resolution and building sustainable peace, and in terms of ensuring their meaningful, that is, able to influence outcomes, participation in conflict resolution processes, peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations. In order to do so and to foster a culture of peaceful coexistence, the Declaration stresses the importance of intergenerational dialogue, in both informal and formal settings, so as for decision-makers to come face to face with youth voices, concerns, and requests and vice-versa.

As far as informal settings are concerned, the Declaration includes the recommendation for iSCAN to create an online community connecting youth, decision- and policy-makers, activists, and experts in order to raise awareness about youth role in respect of international peace and security, about the opportunities for action, for meaningful participation, and for actual change. To further facilitate this goal, the Declaration also proposes the hosting by iSCAN of a yearly forum connecting these people and allowing for a real-time exchange of ideas and decision on actions in the fields of peace, security, and sustainable development. Furthermore, the Declaration reiterates the essential character of awareness-raising with respect to the root causes of conflict and the special vulnerabilities that youth, children, and women face in conflict and post-conflict settings, especially regarding trafficking in persons, extremism, and terrorism. This is why the Declaration calls upon civil society, youth, and student organisations to combine forces with national and international bodies and develop such awareness-raising programmes aimed at fostering this “passion for change”.

Last but not least, the Declaration acknowledges the double-faced role of technology, namely its potential harmful use, as for example by terrorists or traffickers, and its positive use, as for example for advocacy purposes, youth empowerment, or, more technically, for combatting terrorism, trafficking, or human rights violations. This is why the Declaration embraces a pro-technology approach to all these issues, calling upon the international community to detect and make use of all the ways it can help in ensuring peace and security online and offline and in granting youth with a platform to express themselves.

Overall, the essence of the SOLVE 2021 Declaration boils down to the following words: youth empowerment, meaningful inclusion, platform for dialogue, opportunity for change. The Declaration’s recommendations all build on these concepts, while the two commitments, referring to the iSCAN-supported online community and the yearly forum, indicate a possible step towards a future where youth have a seat at the table where their own future, among others, in terms of international peace and security and sustainable development is being debated.

For the Declaration text: https://iscan-int.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/S...

For more information on SOLVE: https://iscan-int.org/solve2021-outcome/

For more information on iSCAN: https://iscan-int.org/

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