AC4 Announces New Program for Youth Practitioners: Focus on Youth, Peace and Security Leadership

Photo: Mi Sangre leading an initiative with youth in Comuna 8 of Medellín, Colombia.

Why Focus on Youth?

At 1.8 billion, young people are not only our future, but our undeniable present, critical partners to realizing sustainable peace.  Young people, long-perceived as either victims or perpetrators of violence, are now increasingly viewed as positive agents of change, peacebuilders in their own right. There is a critical need to find innovative ways to engage young people, leverage their creativity and energy, and transform organizations, societies, businesses and governments to respond to the challenges of our time through proven management tools and practices for success. Thus, a YPS leadership program, designed with tools for local implementation in mind, is both useful and timely.


What’s YPS and what will the SPS/AC4/YPS leadership program do?

Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) is a critical, emerging field and the YPS Leadership program, co-sponsored by AC4 and SPS, is designed to advance the work of youth leaders around the world by creating joint efforts between practitioners and academia.

This program will develop rigor in youth, peace and security efforts to increase effectiveness; build on local knowledge and experience to apply to a broader audience globally; enhance practice by grounding it in theory in areas related to YPS; connect global, regional and local networks via our global engagement partners; and support the implementation of the YPS global agenda.

This leadership program recognizes work already being done within the YPS realm, while at the same time, supporting practitioners and connecting them with tools, research and practice that will elevate and amplify their work.


Youth’s Role in Peacebuilding

In December 2015, the UN Security Council passed the resolution on Youth, Peace and Security (UN SCR 2250). This resolution marked the first time in history that the UN Security Council recognized the positive role of young women and men in international peace and security. This resolution calls for the elevation of youth voices in decision-making at all levels, for partnerships with youth across the UN systems, and for the importance of inclusive and enabling environments for youth engaged in peacebuilding.

The resolution empowered The missing peace: an independent progress study on youth and peace and security which was given to the Security Council in April of 2018. The study stated that:“three mutually reinforcing strategies are needed…investing in young people’s capacities…transforming the systems that reinforce exclusion of youth…and prioritizing partnerships and collaborative action, where young people are viewed as equal and essential partners for peace.” In June 2018, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2419, reaffirming its commitment to implementation of Resolution 2250 (2015), and the recommendations of the global study.

AC4 was part of the Steering Committee, the study, and the working group, now known as the Global Coalition.


Why now? What are the learning goals of the YPS Leadership program?

We need to encourage the confidence and capacities of young leaders who can design and generate solutions aligned with their values, to address root causes and systemic challenges. The YPS leadership program is about getting things done in the real world, and participants will become acquainted with the organizing and policy-making necessary for empowering youth in YPS. The program/course of study consists of a series of days/weeks of intensive training, all of which will culminate in participant projects. This is a results-oriented learning-in-action program that grounds participants in their existing expertise and guides them to design for YPS system-level change.

Throughout the program, participants will learn the foundations of YPS; discuss implications of the YPS agenda toward a sustainable and peaceful future; enhance their understanding of the concepts, models and theory behind conflict resolution, problem-solving and intervention practices and skills; increase mastery of key communicative behaviors and skills for increasing effectiveness as leaders; understand the role of young people in maintaining peace and security; and complete and implement an original, impactful YPS project.

The convening of the first cohort of the YPS leadership program will begin in June 2019 and will be open to young leaders working toward the advancement of YPS.


How can I apply?

Click here to read the program overview and the application guidelines for more information and to apply.

Applications are due by noon (EST) on Friday, February 15,2019

Apply here.


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