Italy aligns with the Statement of the European Union, and would like to express its appreciation to the Mission of Ghana for convening this meeting, which provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm our national and collective engagement to reinforce the role of youth in the promotion and maintenance of peace and security.
As recently highlighted by the Secretary General, the active participation of youth in decision-making processes “enhances the legitimacy of peace and security initiatives”. That is why the New Agenda for Peace calls for the Youth, Peace and Security agenda to be institutionalized and properly funded.
Italy joins this call, and underlines the importance to operationalize this agenda at the regional and country level, by designing measures and mechanisms to make peace processes authentically youth inclusive, through the meaningful engagement and participation of young peace-builders, the involvement of the local and community and the civil society and the protection and support of young activists. We also reiterate the importance to factor in systematically the perspective of gender equality and the critical role of young women in peace building.
If we want to ensure the above, we need to step up our efforts to further integrate the topic of youth and peacebuilding into collaborations with regional, sub regional organizations and International Financial Institutions. In this context, we commend the consistent and extensive efforts of the African Union and we encourage the exchange of best practices among regions to better collaborate to boost youth and women’s participation in decision making processes.
Italy welcomes African-led initiatives aimed at giving youth a political voice in democratic processes. We have therefore partnered up with African Member States, the African Union and regional organizations to enhance electoral stakeholders’ leadership, conflict and quality management capacities, with a focus on youth and women’s roles and participation in the management of elections.
In this spirit we look forward to our continued work together on youth affairs, building on this momentum to advance UN work for and with youth, also through the DPPA, the Peace Building Commission and the Secretary-General’s Youth Envoy, and in perspective the new Youth Office.
The voices of young men and women are catalysts for change and prosperity. Investing on youth means investing in our future, and in the future of the planet. In this vein, education makes a difference as a powerful tool of transformation and we will continue to advocate the enabling role of education in upholding social cohesion, fighting against inequality, discrimination and violence and promoting peace.
While the journey ahead remains extensive, Italy remains committed to playing its part to bring forward the full implementation of the Youth Peace and Security Agenda for a stable, peaceful, and prosperous Africa and beyond.