UNSCR 2250 – a Toolkit for Youth

On December 9th, 2015 the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2250, the first ever thematic resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.

The Resolution is nothing short of historic, as the Security Council recognizes for the first time that young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of peace.

The document was co-sponsored by Angola, Chad, Chile, France, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, the UK, the US, and Venezuela. It marks the birth of a new agenda for youth in peacebuilding, and was very much inspired by Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

During the Global Forum in the summer of 2015, over 10,000 young people asked for a Security Council Resolution on youth in the Amman Youth Declaration. The adoption of Resolution 2250 is their success, and marks the culmination of years of advocacy by civil society.

The content of this page is provided by our friends at UNOY Peacebuilders. Search for Common Ground slightly adapted the original.

Resolution
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THE RESOLUTION

Read the full text of the resolution here.

Guide to 2250: Everything you need to know about 2250 in one place. What does the resolution say? Why does it matter? What can you do with it? Read the guide developed by UNOY Peacebuilders.

2250 explained: For a more in-depth explanation of the resolution and what it means, read the annotated version, provided by UNOY Peacebuilders.

Kickstarting 2250: Download this guide to learn more about ways to implement UNSCR 2250 locally and nationally.

Resolution
Click to download the guide!

Other key documents
Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding: A guide that explains why and in what ways to engage young people in peacebuilding programmes. Available in multiple languages.
Agreed UN Language on youth participation in peacebuilding: A report by UNOY on the language used by the Security Council on Youth between 1995-2013.
UN Plan of Action Against Violent Extremism: Plan developed by the UN Secretary-General, which includes a section on youth empowerment.
Youth Action Agenda to Prevent Violent Extremism and Promote Peace: A document produced entirely by young people that highlights their definition of violent extremism, what they are doing to address it, and ways to partner with young people to promote peace and prevent violent extremism in their communities. This document is a result of the Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism held in New York in September 2015.
Amman Youth Declaration: the outcome document of the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security held in Jordan in August 2015, this declaration is a roadmap towards a strengthened policy framework on Youth, Peace and Security.

Take Action

Even though member states are responsible for implementing the resolution at the national level, there are many ways in which young people and civil society organizations can take part in this process, from leading it to cooperating with other stakeholders on the local, national, regional and global levels. You and your organization might choose how to use the resolution based on your capabilities and competences, and on the needs found on the ground. For this reason, it is important to contextualize your efforts: know the challenges and needs of young men and women in your community and country!

Here are a few examples of actions you can take.

Spread the word!

People must know what resolution 2250 is, what it says, and why it matters so they can use it. So, spread the word to make sure that as many people as possible know about 2250. You can:

  • introduce the resolution to the members of your organization, activists, colleagues etc;
  • attend events relevant to the topic of youth, peace and security and mention the resolution during panel discussion, debates, networking sessions etc;
  • write a blog post for your blog or a partner’s blog on the topic;
  • create and share content in the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) using the hashtags #Youth4Peace and #SCR2250;
  • share the content of this Toolkit with your organization, partners and network.

Advocate

You might want to go further and create an advocacy strategy around resolution 2250. Advocating for a cause means bringing it to people’s attention so it will gain support and be addressed by policy-makers and other relevant actors. That will require a little more strategic planning than simply mentioning the document and sharing it on the social media. There are a few steps you can follow to start your advocacy campaign:

  • brainstorm with your organization and partners what kind of message you would like to advocate for (you can use one specific action area of the resolution or the document as a whole, for instance);
  • select the partners you would like to involve in this campaign (youth-led and youth-focused NGOs, youth clubs and councils, peace organizations, UN agencies etc.) and the target group;
  • reach out to us at sprelis@sfcg.org, UNOY at advocacy@unoy.org, and the other organizations involved in the development of 2250: World Vision, Mercy Corps, UNDP, UNFPA, and UN Women.
  • create content for social media and blogs – don’t forget to use #Youth4Peace and #SCR2250;
  • organize workshops and trainings on the resolution (feel free to use the content of this toolkit to support you in this, such as the power-point presentation);
  • contact the local media (newspapers, television channels etc.).

Lobby

Lobbying is a way of doing advocacy, except it targets policy-makers. Then again, you will need to be strategic and have a plan in order to make an impact. A good way to start is:

  • review policies and national plans in the field of peace and security (countering violent extremism, gender equality, youth policies etc.) and check the language used on youth. You can go even further and draft recommendations for those documents to introduce an inclusive language on youth and reference resolution 2250;
  • send policy-makers an e-mail (template available at unoy.org/2250-toolkit) bringing to their attention the importance of implementing the resolution in your country. Make sure you select people who showed previous interest and commitment to the cause;
  • if possible, schedule a meeting with a policy-maker to discuss the issue in more depth. It is important to be prepared! Have a 2-minute pitch prepared on why this is important and how that specific person can contribute. After the meeting, make sure to send an e-mail thanking them for their time and to follow-up on the commitments made.

Build partnerships

Resolution 2250 portrays youth as partners in preventing violence, countering violent extremism and building peace. So it is time to engage with other stakeholders in order to make a greater impact. Some actions might include:

  • map the relevant actors in the peace and security field in your country and community; such as Ministries, Youth Councils, UN agencies, faith-based groups, etc;
  • think of how both parties can contribute in a possible partnership: you might know a lot about the local context and be able to engage young people, while the other part might have capacities or funds that you don’t possess;
  • reach out to those actors and find out how you can collaborate. Be open to discuss different ways of contributing instead of having a “I want/need this from you” approach.

Organize a national launch

Organizing a launch of the resolution on the national level is a good way to raise awareness on the topic and mobilize relevant stakeholders. If you decide to do so, please engage us in this process by emailing sprelis@sfcg.org.
The checklist below will assist you in the organization of this event:

1: Start brainstorming! (Info thanks to UNOY Peacebuilders)

  • What type of event will work best in your country to spread the message of UNSCR 2250? A press conference, a panel discussion, a forum…?
  • Where will you host it? How will you get the word out?
  • Who will you invite (government officials, youth activists, Civil society organizations…)?
  • Who will be the speakers (make sure it is a diverse and inclusive team)?
  • What is your budget? How will you raise the funds for the event?
  • Important: make sure your event is strategic and fun!
  • Ask friends, colleagues, or partner organisations to help promote your event.

2: Build a team!
  • Reach out to youth groups, charities, schools, or media to partner with in the event and try to be as much inclusive as possible!
  • In some cases, UNOY can help connect you with organizations on the ground. Contact them at advocacy@unoy.org.

3: Let us know!
  • You might inspire others to do the same, so let us know about your launch and we will share it on our social media. Feel free to send photos, videos and stories!
  • inform us at sprelis@sfcg.org and UNOY at advocacy@unoy.org about the event, so that we can share info about it through our communication channels!
  • share photos, videos, and stories of what you’re doing leading up to and on the day of your event by including #SCR2250 and #youth4peace

TIP: Reserve a time and space in your program for local young peacebuilders to showcase their work. At the end of the event, the participants can elect the winner of the Young Peacebuilder Award. This will bring recognition for the positive role young people play in the community.
TIP: Prepare a press release with 5-10 priority action points from the local youth to the government, international agencies and civil society organizations.

Other activities that can be carried out in parallel to the national launch or individually:
  • National consultation: In order to find out what are the most pressing issues and challenges for youth in your country, organize an online consultation. Share it among young people, policy-makers, activists, CSOs, networks/alliances, academics etc. The results can be used to support your advocacy work (both campaign and lobbying);
  • Meetings at local levels: Create spaces (or build on existing ones) for young people from your community to talk to inspiring and influential speakers. Invite community members, fellow advocates and decision-makers. The idea is to exchange experiences, share best and worst practices and bridge the different stakeholders;
  • Artistic Interventions: Organize an artistic intervention where you & others can draw or write creatively about the resolution, exploring the content and the importance of UNSCR 2250. It can include drawing, painting, dancing, staging a play, doing a flashmob, composing a song… be creative and don’t forget to spread the word about it on social media using the hashtags #youth4peace and #SCR2250.

Mobilize resources

Many nonprofit and youth organizations struggle to implement their activities due to the lack of resources, especially financial. Resolution 2250 can be an important tool to mobilize resources as it provides recognition and legitimacy to young people’s efforts in peacebuilding. Therefore, you can:

  • refer to the resolution when applying for funding – mention how the Security Council urges states to build on youth’s capacities to act as agents of positive change;
  • ask for technical support to implement your project – that might include developing competencies your organization does not possess.

BE AWARE!

When you take action on Resolution 2250, remember to…
  • Be creative: young people often represent innovation, energy, motivation and commitment. For that reason, you can let your imagination flow and be very creative when preparing activities. Think outside the box!
  • Be inclusive: youth comprises a wide variety of national, racial-ethnic, socio-economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Be inclusive, respectful and sensitive when talking, working, and collaborating with young people.

DOCUMENT TEMPLATES

Visit unoy.org/2250-toolkit/ to download a letter to decision makers, a presentation on 2250, and other useful resources.

CONTRIBUTORS

This toolkit was developed by Ludmila Dias Andrade, Andrea Curcio, Iram Parveen, Miraji Hassan Mohamed, Romeral Ortiz Quintilla and our friends at UNOY.