Symposium on Localizing the African Union Continental Framework on Youth, Peace and Security(AU CFYPS) in Cameroon
This symposium seeks to build the capacity and raise awareness among youths and other development stakeholders on the AU CFYPS and facilitate its localisation through advocacy while engaging stakeholders in the development of a National Action Plan on Youth Peace and Security in Cameroon. It is organised by the youth-led peace-building organisation; Local Youth Corner Cameroon with the support of the African Union Youth for Peace Program, Canadian High Commission in Cameroon and United Nations Population Fund in Cameroon. It will hold from the 28th -30th October 2021 and will unite 200 national and community youth actors, government and international stakeholders among others, to consult and share perspectives on the localization of the AU Continental Framework on Youth Peace and Security (CFYPS) in Cameroon. This initiative is organised in collaboration with the Cameroon National Youth Council, the Cameroon National Coalition on Youth Peace and Security as well as other youth CSOs and Networks, under the Distinguished Patronage of the Cameroon Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education
As a framework established to promote the implication and active participation of young people in peacebuilding and security in Africa, the CFYPS pushes towards the promotion, prevention, protection, partnership and collaboration as well as disengagement and rehabilitation in favour of young people. However, there is an urgent need to ensure the localization of this process by developing a National Action Plan for Cameroon and strengthening our collaboration towards its implementation.
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With the growing shift in the narrative in the role of young people in violent conflict, the need to harness and mobilise support for young people leading peace has become an urgent need. After the adoption of the UNSCR 2250(2015,) on Youth Peace and Security, existing youth efforts and architectures by development stakeholders across the world in the domain of youth and peacebuilding gained more legitimacy. In an effort to strengthen existing efforts within the African continent to valorise and support youth efforts, the African Union inaugurated the Youth for Peace (Africa) Program in 2018 and developed the CFYPS which was adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) in 2020.
The development of this framework has seen a drastic improvement in the efforts of the AU and its member states in promoting the participation and inclusion of young people in peace and security. Nevertheless, these efforts have faced challenges with reaching young people and stakeholders at both the national and community level. The need to ensure that this continental conversation on Youth Peace and Security to be localised within countries across the continent was a major recommendation in the Continental framework.
This initiative thereby comes to introduce this framework at the national level and mobilise support and advocacy for its localisation in Cameroon. Briefly, the CFYPS which is premised on international and continental YPS frameworks has five priorities including:
- Participation: advocate and promote active and meaningful participation of youths at all levels of decision-making, policy formulation, implementation and monitoring of peace and security decisions/agreements; support cross-sectoral cooperation as a holistic approach to youth issues and for the elimination of structural barriers to youth participation, and support the development and implementation of national action plans to encourage young people’s meaningful participation in peace and security through existing national and regional structures.
- Prevention: promote and strengthen youth capacity on prevention via peace education, support to the establishment and implementation of peace architectures; facilitate entry points for competent youth to undertake violence prevention activities including youth-led or support to dialogue and mediation processes; Reinforce the potential of youth by canvassing support for the establishment of investments and funds that enable inclusion of youth into different projects to ensure access to education, vocational training as well as employment opportunities, with a view to reducing youth unemployment and their attendant vulnerabilities to exploitation, manipulation, radicalization and recruitment by extremist, criminal and armed groups.
- Protection: advocate and promote compliance to international humanitarian and human rights law to guarantee the protection of young people during armed conflicts and facilitate safe movement and resettlement of displaced persons, to mitigate the risk of forced recruitment as well as sexual and gender-based violence.
- Partnerships and Coordination: facilitate the effective coordination and communication between youth and relevant stakeholders on planning and evaluation of interventions to promote peace and security; promote increased, coordinated and sustained political, financial and technical support to reinforce youth-led initiatives on peace and security.
- Disengagement and Rehabilitation: promote programmes aimed at effective repatriation, resettlement, disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and rehabilitation of youth disengaged from armed or extremist groups. Promote training for young people to support reconstruction and stabilization activities of areas affected by war, including ensuring that the specific needs of young women and men are met; promote young people’s capacities to act as relief and recovery agents in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Main Objective. This initiative seeks to build capacity and raise awareness of the AU CFYPS and facilitate its localisation through advocacy and stakeholder engagement for the development of a National Action Plan on Youth Peace and Security in Cameroon.