Afghan Women's Network
AWN

Afghan Women's Network

Afghan Women’s Network Press Release on occasion of International Day of Peace

Youth’s Role as Peace Builders

Youth play a crucial and dynamic role in a society. The development of a country depends on the understanding and commitment of its youth. The role of a nation’s youth must be recognized as substantive, and they must be recognized as the builders of its future. Young Afghans need to take on active roles within the high peace council, which is the supplementary peace institution in Afghanistan. They must execute a visible and active role, Youth need to be intellectually and traditionally capable of solving conflict and ushering in peace in Afghanistan. They must be the force behind the government’s struggle against poverty, unemployment, corruption, drug trafficking mafia and violation of law. Afghanistan can succeed in all areas of development only with the active involvement of its youth for eradication of underlying issues; without them any development and advancement of the country will remain a dream. 
Peace will be a long time in coming to Afghanistan unless the citizens – especially the youth – are genuinely invested in building peace in the country. Effective and productive strategies need to be employed for increasing awareness, coordination, solidarity and trust in youth as peace builders in the country. By involving them in productive and positive initiatives, it is possible to preempt misdirection and manipulation of the emotions of youth by anti-social elements. 
Recommendations:
• Establish effective and operational mechanisms highlighting the role of women and youth in the peace process (decision-making, negotiation, mediation and conflict resolution), and strengthen coordination, in the next five years. 
• Establish a Youth Advisory Board within the High Peace Council (HPC)
• Increase meaningful participation of youth in the peace process, in accordance with their expertise, capabilities, and their experience.
• Initiate efforts for elimination of ethnic, religious, lingual and sexual discrimination
• Leverage the awareness programs on role of women and youth in the peace process through media, mosques, takayas and the Ulema Council.
• Emphasize efforts for affecting ceasefire in the battlefields to prevent continued civilian casualties.
• Increase gender responsive activities in the High Peace Council at the provincial and central level.
• Encourage youth volunteerism in peace committees at the national and provincial levels. 
• Promote education opportunities for youth, to provide opportunities for them to learn from the experiences of countries that have gone through similar conflicts and experienced peace processes. 
• Share the HPC strategy with youth and seek their inputs.
• Acknowledge the rights and achievements of women and youth, in peace negotiations.