Youth discuss the importance of involving young people at all stages of peacebuilding, and the support they need from multiple partners to be able to participate in peacebuilding activities. (UNV Sudan, 2017)

Youth for peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Sudan

UN Volunteers in Sudan, in collaboration with UNDP Sudan, other UN agencies and International Youth Forum celebrated International Youth Day in Khartoum, under the theme ‘Youth4Peace'. The celebrations, which took place with the participation of the Federal Minister of Youth and Sports, government officials, civil society representatives and community advocates, hosted two forums, one on public policy and another on the role of youth in peacebuilding.

On 19 August 2017, national UN Volunteer Ahmed Osman, serving as Protection Assistant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan, led an interactive discussion with youth on the importance of volunteerism to achieve peace and contribute to development across all communities. Ahmed highlighted how “the SDGs cannot be achieved without people’s engagement at all stages.” He also underlined that volunteers can facilitate and support participatory approaches in planning, implementing and monitoring the SDGs.

Volunteers and volunteer groups can contribute to peace and development by providing technical support and enhancing capacity across all thematic goal areas.

The celebrations continued in the evening, when the young community of Khartoum gathered in the Green Yard of the city. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with UNV, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and several other UN agencies and NGOs organized activities such as the showing of the movie “Iman”, an IOM film about migration, and concerts by the Bawadina, Salute Yalbannoot and Aswat Al-Madaina musical groups.

Other celebrations around International Youth Day took place on 10 August 2017 in Darfur, where the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the National Federation of Sudanese Youth held a day-long event to commemorate the Day.

The afternoon activities included a workshop with over 60 local youth from a cross-section of Darfur society, including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). After an introduction by Stuart Moran, UNV’s Programme Manager with UNAMID, Adil Ishag Mohammed Abdallah, a national UN Volunteer Human Rights Officer serving with UNAMID, led a session on Youth for Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution in Darfur. This included a lengthy participatory session in which the youth discussed their role in these critical areas.

During the workshop, participants discussed the different elements that need to be addressed to engage youth in peacebuilding: a peaceful co-existence, security, confidence-building among conflicting parties, social reconciliation, capacity-building activities in the community, and the effectiveness of traditional Darfur customs in building peace. National UN Volunteer Adil then led a discussion on what support the youth need to be able to engage in peacebuilding and conflict resolution activities.

The participants stressed that activities such as this workshop, which promotes dialogue among youth on peace building and conflict resolution, are extremely important.