On 28 March, Dr Asli Ozcelik Olcay, together with Dr Yulia Nesterova (Education/UofG), hosted a Knowledge Exchange Workshop on “Youth and Peace Mediation” at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The workshop brought together a group of researchers, officials, and practitioners working on youth peacebuilding and/or peace mediation. Represented institutions included the European External Action Service, Folke Bernadette Academy (the Swedish government agency for peace, security and development), Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, swisspeace, Berghof Foundation, and Search for Common Ground. The aim of the workshop was to create a platform for knowledge exchange between these communities on capacities, practices, policies, and approaches to engagement with youth in peace mediation processes.

The workshop was held as part of Dr Ozcelik Olcay’s project on “Engagement with Youth in Peace Mediation”, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of the United Kingdom.

The United Nations’ (UN) Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda recognises “the important and positive contribution of youth in efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security” (UNSC Resolution 2250). It comprises five pillars for action to promote, support, and facilitate the role of youth in the fields of peace and security: prevention, partnerships, participation, protection, disengagement and reintegration. Cutting across the partnership and participation pillars of the YPS agenda, the project “Engagement with Youth in Peace Mediation” develops resources for actors involved in peace mediation and conflict resolution with a view to increasing awareness and capacities about meaningful engagement with youth in peace mediation. It, therefore, relates to one of the twelve key commitments of the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Our Common Agenda’, “listening to and working with youth”, as well as the focus on “youth-inclusive peace and mediation efforts” of the Five Year Strategic Action Plan developed by the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security.