Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima at the  Security Council Arria Formula Meeting on Youth Peace and Security: “Capitalizing on intergenerational dialogue to build and sustain peace and enhance social cohesion at community levels” on 09 December 2020

Mr. President,

I thank the co-organizers for convening this meeting. We thank the briefers for their valuable remarks.

Today’s dialogue is particularly relevant to remind ourselves of the far-reaching impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has left on the youth. While many young medical professionals, emergency personnel, peacekeepers, and peacebuilders are at the forefront of this battle, many others are stranded at their home passing through an uncertain time.

As we are currently negotiating the peacebuilding architecture review, we must ensure that youth is made part of our common endeavor for peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

Mr. President,

Bangladesh enjoys demographic dividend at this moment. To harness this into a development dividend, we are prioritizing youth empowerment. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s “Digital Bangladesh” slogan is an important manifestation of our aspiration to form an inclusive, knowledge driven economy. We have adopted a National Youth Development Policy 2017, and have also been involving youth in planning and implementation of our national development plans, including in attaining the SDGs.

Going forward, we wish to work more closely with the international community and the UN in implementing the UN Youth Strategy “Youth 2030” in alignment with our national priorities.

Mr. President,

To optimize the role of youth in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, we need to invest in strengthening the narratives on potentials of youth in peacebuilding. Simultaneously, we also need to restore youth’s trust in governments and multilateral systems. For that we need to invest in fostering national and local level initiatives aimed at amplifying the participation of the youth in peace processes.

In this regard, we need to take advantage of essential common threads of WPS and YPS. They need to reinforce each other in their efforts to overcome the traditional gender norms and practices, which disproportionately impact on the potentials of young women in many contexts across the world. We believe the Peacebuilding Commission has a role to play in this regard.

And most importantly, we must ensure affordable, quality, inclusive and transformative education to foster the youth’s critical thinking; and provide them with skill sets for building social cohesion as well as civic and economic engagements. Eliminate existing digital divide is an important requisite for that. We also believe that involvement of youth in the promotion of tolerance within and across societies is particularly important, especially in countering hate speech and xenophobia which is now sweeping the globe.

Mr. President

While we celebrate the 5th anniversary of the YPS resolution, we would be interested to know how this has been integrated into the UN’s work at the field level, particularly in the context of peacebuilding and sustaining peace.

We would also like to know whether the office of the Youth Envoy or any other UN entity has made any trend analysis on the impacts of COVID-19, as well as their involvement in the responses to Covid-19 and its impacts.

I thank you.