Youth, Peace and Security: the international agenda and opportunities in Italy – Seminar

Young representatives of the Youth, Peace and Security Network speaking Young representatives of the Youth, Peace and Security Network speaking Centro Studi Difesa Civile

The seminar "Youth, peace and security: the international agenda and opportunities in Italy" promoted by the Civil Defense Studies Center, was held on Friday 6 April.

During the seminar at the headquarters of the Service Center for Volunteering in Lazio, the CDSC wanted this seminar to show and demonstrate how participation and active action of young people in the processes of building and maintaining peace is fundamental and extremely effective.

The director of the CDSC, Luisa del Turco, opened the proceedings by introducing the theme and presented various speakers and guests. Renato Cursi, spokesperson of the CDSC, delivered important data on the presence and percentages of young people in countries most affected by conflicts. Africa, having some of the first countries with the greatest presence of armed conflicts, accounts for 60% of the youth population that is between 18 and 29 years old.

In this regard, the contribution of the young diplomat, Diego Cimino, was important in understanding how various UN governments agree that in order to resolve and prevent conflicts it is necessary to act on the social component, often resulting in severe shortcomings and problems.

The social empowerment mentioned by Cimino and the representation of young people in the decision-making process of peacebuilding at all levels (solicited in Agenda 2250 and adopted by the UN Security Council in 2015) are possible only if the field of education is also strengthened, asserts Giovanni Scotto, a professor from the University of Florence.

Peace education, especially non-formal teachings, underlies the process of deconstructing the "classical" idea of conflict: a problem to be solved by violence and/or repression, allowing it to be transformed oftentimes using the opposite weapon, non-violence.

During a Skype interview, Gesa Bent, member of the UNOY Board, spoke about how in addition to educational resources, funding and fundraising for peacebuilding projects and organizations that are coordinated by young people are crucial.

The seminar concluded with significant interventions and testimonies of young people working in this field, such as Tommaso Murè, a UN Youth delegate in Italy, Matteo Pugliese for the OSCE, and two young Civil Corps of Peace in Lebanon. Each of these individuals exemplifies active action in the field of peacebuilding.

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