The African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development (ANYL4PSD) is a platform based on the principles of voluntary service, solidarity, the common good and human dignity. The Mission is to focus on sources of inspiration and the potential of cultural, natural and human resources, including youth, to identify pathways for concrete actions to build peace, understood as the cornerstone of endogenous and sustainable development.
Our vision is to contribute decisively to the emergence of the youth class, its positioning and its effective participation in public policies. The ambition of the African Network of Young Leaders for Peace and Sustainable Development is to broaden public space for more economic, social, cultural and political expression in order to develop a critical mass of young Africans with major skills in social co-operation and public participation, capable of adopting attitudes and behaviors to construct a regional area where peace and Sustainable Development Goals are perpetuated, conflicts permanently banned, where conditions for sustainable development are firmly established and where respect for the environment, leadership and the fight against corruption enrich African citizenship.
In the UNCCD and the Sendai Framework we advocate for increased youth and vulnerable people involvement, in combating drought land degradation and desertification and for Disaster Risk Reduction. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations Anticorruption Convention, and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 which specifically recognize and address the needs, benefits, potential and experiences of young people and support the work of young change makers.
We are committed to:
- Valuing the contribution of African culture to dialogue and reconciliation;
- Strengthen the relationship between education and culture for the construction of effective education and training courses in the culture of peace;
- Promote human rights and raise awareness on migration issues;
- Promote the universal agenda for sustainable development;
- Promote the commitment, socio-economic integration of young people and the fight against corruption;
- Developing the green economy, generating employment for youth, cooperation and scientific diplomacy for the sharing of cross-border resources;
- Promote the participation of indigenous peoples in issues related to peace and sustainable development;
- Valuing the role of women in African society as guardians of values and promoting gender equality among young people;
- Create a Continental and Sustainable Movement for Peace and Sustainable Development, capable of mobilizing African States, the private sector, African artists and leaders, international organizations and development actors;
- Raise public and youth awareness, in particular, of disaster risks, their civic, patriotic and voluntary involvement in the fight against all forms of security and environmental threats.
- Promote increased youth, women and vulnerable people participation in Sustainable Land Management and in combatting Drought, Land Degradation and Desertification.
YOUTHS PEACEBUILDING AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Young people, major actors in peace building and sustainable development.
Limited economic, social and political opportunities are part of the important factors that lead young people to participate in armed conflicts and environment destruction activities. However, it is important to recall that this does not reflect the majority of young people, and that many young people work for peace and sustainable development. Young people must be able to shape their future through participation in the areas that affect them and must have access to quality education and opportunities. On the other hand, the resilience of young people to social and political pressures must be taken into account and supported.
Today, more than the half of Africa’s population (60%) is under 35 years of age. Among these, more than two hundred million are young people in the 15-35 age group. Africa has never had so many young people before. Globally, a large proportion of these young people live with their community in precarious conditions and are exposed to drought, land degradation and desertification.
A young population provides an opportunity for innovation, development and economic growth, but today’s youth face violence, armed conflict, drought, corruption, disaster and climate change. A binary view of young people as perpetrators of violence; Or as victims to be protected is very common. ANYL4PSD argues for an alternative view: that young people are positive agents of change and advocates for peace and sustainable development. The positive role that young people play in the transformation of our world must be recognized. This recognition must take into account the correlation between social justice, sustainable development, human rights and peace; Ubiquitous correlation in the lives of young people. As actors and (future) leaders, the inclusion of young people in peace processes and sustainable land management (SLM) ensures that this category of society is equipped to make a positive contribution to Sustainable Development Goals.
PARTICIPATION IS ESSENTIAL
At present, the motivation to involve young people into peace and sustainable development arises mainly from the perception of young people as potential threats or victims rather than a desire to consider them as equal partners or holders of solutions. Policy makers also tend to talk about youth rather than working with youth. In order to ensure the effective participation of young people in peace and sustainable development processes and to provide forums for them to shape the future of our countries, infrastructure and institutions must recognize their needs and aspirations.
Ensuring the active, systematic and real participation of young people in the issues of peace and sustainable development is a demographic and democratic imperative. It is also a means of preventing conflict and disaster. Several studies show that social exclusion is an important factor leading to conflict and undergrowth. In addition, participation in decision-making processes encourages young people’s resilience to social pressures, thus giving them a sense of belonging.
The participation of young women and men in peace-building and sustainable development has been studied very little. Their contribution and potential which are key to a lasting and inclusive peace, as well as to stability and economic prosperity, should be valued, recognized and sustained. The inclusion of young people has an influence on the social, economic and political sectors, at several levels.
We must make a change. From distraction to interaction, from passive partnerships to participatory partnerships. This change must alter the perception of youth as a source of conflict and create a vision of youth as resources for peace and sustainable development. This change must transform consultation into real participation. Young people must be included among peace and development partners.