Reciprocal institutional visibility: Youth, peace and security and ‘inclusive’ agendas at the United Nations

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Abstract

Within the architecture of the United Nations (UN), formal recognition of the contributions of historically marginalised individuals and communities to peacebuilding denotes a positive shift in rhetoric and practice. Alongside broader institutional moves towards ‘sustaining peace’; the emergence of a ‘Youth, Peace and Security’ agenda since 2015 formalises attention to youth as positive contributors to peacebuilding and in responding to violence. This article situates the Youth, Peace and Security agenda within broader institutional and academic attention on ‘inclusive peace’. It considers the ongoing challenges in legitimising youth inclusion; and positions this emergent agenda in relation to the gains made by the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and the establishment of the UN’s sustaining peace agenda. These explorations demonstrate the value of considering the evolution of inclusive peace agendas together, while remaining mindful of their distinctive characteristics, to better understand the potential of inclusive approaches to peace. It argues that the Youth, Peace and Security agenda should be understood as a key element of shifts in UN peacebuilding practice towards inclusivity that enable visibility and legitimacy to a broader range of peace actors. We suggest that greater recognition of the contributions of youth to the broader ‘inclusive and sustaining peace’ mandates is needed.

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Berents, H., & Mollica, C. (2022). Reciprocal institutional visibility: Youth, peace and security and ‘inclusive’ agendas at the United Nations. Cooperation and Conflict, 57(1), 65–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/00108367211007873

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