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WFID Plenary Session: “#Youth4Peace: Building a Counter-Narrative to Violent Extremism”
May 3 | 9:30 am - 11:30 am
| Baku, Azerbaijan
#Youth4Peace: Building a Counter-Narrative to Violent Extremism
A conversation with the UNAOC High Representative
Today, youth engagement has become a crucial factor in the global efforts to prevent violent extremism and to build sustainable peace. In the fight against radicalization, youngsters are not considered as just victims or vulnerable individuals anymore. They are also regarded as agents of change and champions of peace. Crucial resolutions such as UNSCR 2250 (2015) on Youth, Peace and Security, UNSG Plan of Action on PVE (2016), and UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy’s most recent review (2018) are emphasizing youth resilience and empowerment as key elements to prevent violence and conflicts fuelled by hatred and intolerance. Moreover, working with young people from different backgrounds has proved pivotal to detect early signs of radicalization and to offer meaningful alternatives.
Over the years and through its various programming activities, UNAOC has encouraged youth leadership with the aim to help future generations become active citizens, resilient to extremism and able to counter radicalization through critical thinking. As a result, the Alliance has developed an extensive network of Alumni involved all over the world in key expertise areas, such as youth policy, global education, interreligious dialogue, social inclusion – only to name a few. Besides their remarkable backgrounds and achievements, these young people all have in common to be deeply committed to UNAOC mission of promoting dialogue and respect between cultures and religions.
The High Representative for the UNAOC will engage UNAOC Alumni in an interactive format to discuss good practices on countering violent extremism through the promotion of intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Through short presentations followed by an exchange with the High Representative, Alumni will share innovative approaches on ways to involve youth in preventing violent extremism and to include their voice at policy level.
Together, they will examine the role of young people in tackling key issues such as preventing and addressing hate-speech and online radicalization; supporting diversity and the inclusion of minorities; assessing and improving the impact at grassroots level of UN youth policy; education younger generations to tolerance and respect for the other; using interreligious dialogue as a tool for reconciliation.
Basing their interventions on their own experience on the ground and engagement with UNAOC, Alumni will also make recommendations to address the shortcomings and challenges young people face when trying to take part in the global efforts to prevent violent extremism.