Moving Away from Rhetoric: How to Systemically Include Youth in Peace and Climate Action

Event Video 

IPI and the Global Challenges Foundation cohosted a virtual policy forum on April 20th that focused on the synergies and connections between the youth, peace, and security (YPS), and climate action agendas, including how to ensure more meaningful engagement with youth leaders across the world on peace and climate governance. It also launched an issue brief on this topic.

Youth have emerged as a powerful voice in the fight against climate change, demanding transformative change to safeguard the planet. Many youth-led organizations from around the world are also engaged in initiatives to build peace and prevent violence in their communities. Youth movements are increasingly calling for their voices to be heard and for policymakers to include them in decision-making processes at the local, national, and global levels.

The following questions guided the discussion:

  • Using the YPS and climate action agendas as leading examples of youth engagement, how can youth be more systematically engaged in decision-making processes at the local, national, and global levels?
  • 2021 is a pivotal year for renewing multilateralism. How can we use the alignment in the Security Council on climate change and the upcoming COP26 and Stockholm+50 Conference to transform governance structures that have excluded youth?
  • What do donors need to do differently for funding to be accessible to youth-led organizations?
  • How do we better engage youth as experts in building evidence, gathering data, and developing case studies on the synergies between peace and climate action?

This event brought together stakeholders from governments, the United Nations, and civil society, ensuring intergenerational and inclusive participation.

Opening Remarks:
H.E. Dr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, IPI President

H.E. Ms. Inga Rhonda King, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the UN
H.E. Ms. Johanna Lissinger Peitz, Ambassador for Stockholm+50
Mr. Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team
Ms. Nisreen Elsaim, Chair of UN Secretary-General’s Youth Advisory Group and Chair of the Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change
Ms. Disha Sarkar, Ambassador for the International Youth Conference from India

Ms. Jimena Leiva Roesch, IPI Senior Fellow and Head of the Peace and Sustainable Development Program