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Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council Arria-formula VTC meeting on Youth, Peace and Security, December 9, 2020

09.12.2020 - Speech

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On the fifth anniversary of the Security Council’s Youth, Peace and Security agenda, it is very fitting that today is the first meeting in the Council context where we only heard young briefers. This is a good thing that we should do much more often. Generations have to listen to each other. That holds true at home around the kitchen table and it should also apply here in the Council. Germany brought Nadia Murad, Nujeen Mustafa and other young briefers to the Council – these were briefings that left their mark on our debates and discussions. Intergenerational dialogue entails that each generation enjoys their full set of human rights, that women are empowered, that persons with disabilities fully participate and that younger and older persons, including with diverse sexual orientation and gender identities, are integrated.

But dialogue is not a means in itself, and it is nothing without concrete action. I agree with what we heard from our briefers; there is a lack of concrete action, even in this important fifth anniversary of the YPS agenda and even although we revitalized the agenda with resolution 2535. We therefore encourage all UN Missions – both peacekeeping and political – to adopt a mission-wide YPS strategy, to establish YPS focal points and to regularly report on this pertinent issue. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia has set a positive example in this respect. The work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission has focused on the inclusion and participation of youth in peacebuilding, transitional and post-conflict environments.

Germany strongly supports the SG’s Peacebuilding Fund, which is another powerful tool in the YPS agenda. We take this very seriously in the framework of our humanitarian aid. We systematically support projects that involve youth and take their specific needs into account. Last Friday, we discussed in the Council greater cooperation between the SC and the African Union. The topic of youth involvement can be a stellar example for stronger cooperation – as both Youth envoys have demonstrated today. This all certainly holds true in times of COVID-19.

Lastly, let me say that I find it encouraging seeing such strong commitment from the incoming SC members to the YPS agenda. Your engagement to YPS matters is definitely worthwhile, dear colleagues. Do forge ahead with it! Bring young briefers and human rights defenders to the Council, take up UN peace missions on their task to mainstream youth issues, ask for concrete reporting on youth in conflict and make sure that youth get their seat at the table during peace processes. Germany remains committed to these important tasks. This will continue to be important for us beyond our time in the Security Council.

Three concrete examples of what we do: In Colombia, we will continue to support the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in its youth-led peace and reconciliation approach. In the framework of our development cooperation, we have adopted the Action Plan “Agents of Change – Children and Youth Rights in German development cooperation activities”, which puts a strong focus on the right to participation enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lastly, Germany is committed to building the expertise of youth, in particular young women, and to increasing opportunities for their participation in the disarmament area in the framework of the OSCE.

We continue to be fully committed to the YPS agenda and to the dialogue between generations, at the kitchen table, in the Security Council and around the world.


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