On October 29-30, GCILS’ Dr Asli Ozcelik Olcay, together with Dr Yulia Nesterova (Education) and Dr Graeme Young (Development Studies), will host a Knowledge Exchange Workshop on the Youth, Peace and Security agenda and the role of youth in peace processes.

More than 600 million young people live in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. Although youth are affected by violence in a myriad of ways and play active roles as peacebuilders in their communities, significant barriers to their leadership and inclusion in peace processes persist. Despite leading international initiatives (most notably the UN’s Youth, Peace and Security Agenda set out in Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) and the establishment of the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security), meaningful youth inclusion in official peace processes remains an exception. Furthermore, the leadership role that young peacemakers, mediators, and peacebuilders play at grassroots and local levels are under-acknowledged.

This invitation-only workshop brings together researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and young activists from around the world to:

  • examine the barriers to and strategies for youth inclusion in official peace processes; and
  • investigate and emphasise the significance of youth leadership as peacemakers, mediators, and peacebuilders at grassroots and local levels; and
  • explore the pathways for promoting and investing in youth leadership in peace processes through meaningful partnerships, capacity building, and protection.

Participants include representatives from the UN (Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, UNDP, UNESCO, UN DPPA); the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; conflict resolution organisations (Beyond Borders Scotland, Search for Common Ground, Interpeace, Initiatives for International Dialogue, Conflictus Conflict Resolution Training); and youth-led peace organisations (United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Youth without Borders Organisation for Development Yemen, Human Rights Agenda Kenya, Afghans for Progressive Thinking, Generation Peace Youth Network Philippines, Never Again Rwanda, Young-Adult Empowerment Initiative South Sudan, and Young Peacebuilders of Turkey).


The workshop programme is available here.