ICT4SDG | Infrastructure | SDG16 | Youth
August 12, 2017

Youth building peace with the help of ICTs

By ITU News

International Youth Day is August 12, 2017. This article is one of a series this week dedicated to how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve the lives of young people worldwide.

“Young people play an important and positive role in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security.”

That was the overarching message from the United Nations Security Council Resolution, the UN’s first-ever Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security in 2015 (UNSCR 2250).

To promote and support the implementation of UNSCR 2250, The Youth4Peace Global Knowledge Portal, an online information hub, was just launched last year.

The portal is part of the new multi-stakeholder partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)Search for Common Ground (SfCG) and the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY), hosted by UNDP Youth-GPS with support from the Oslo Governance Centre.

The partnership aims to advance peacebuilding efforts of youth by advancing five key pillars for action which include: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement and reintegration.

The knowledge portal offers key information for youth and organizations working with youth to support effective and meaningful contributions to international and local peacebuilding processes.

ICTs helping youth build peace

The Youth4Peace Partnership recognizes the important role of youth in peace and reconciliation efforts. It effectively harnesses the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to engage and educate youth from around the globe.

Using online consultations, webinars, social media outreach and digital guides to peacebuilding, the partnership is working to engage youth with innovative applications of ICTs.

And there are many more examples around the world where ICTs are helping youth to build lasting peace!

According to a recent Telenor Group survey, Asia’s millennials believe that new technologies will be key to achieving peace. When respondents were asked about the technology that has the largest potential to give rise to peace, 32% of the respondents placed their bets on Artificial Intelligence (AI), followed by the Internet of Things (30%), and virtual reality (28%).

“Millennials are by far the largest, most diverse generation in today’s digital age. They are the generation most driven by social causes and have great potential to drive peace through innovation and digitalisation.” – Ola Jo Tandre, Telenor Group.

“And we’re committed to connecting them to the platforms and opportunities they need to come up with their best ideas and do their best work in our hyper-connected world,” said Ola Jo Tandre, Head of Social Responsibility, Telenor Group in their press release.

The ICT 4 Peace foundation has recently launched Tech Against Terrorism with the UN Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate and are collaborating with Facebook, MicrosoftTwitter, and YouTube to support the industry-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

Realizing the increasingly important role of social media to culture and society and its potential for use by international terrorist groups, this initiative aims to strengthen dialogue and support small and start-up tech companies to respond to possible terrorist uses of social media.

The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) has established the Youth Peacemaker Network in South Sudan (YPN). The program seeks to strengthen the leadership capacity of former child soldiers, orphans and youth impacted by conflicts and violence in South Sudan.

According to their website, “the goal of the YPN is to empower youth with peace-building and conflict management/mitigation skills, meditation and life-skills as well as ICT skills to help build a peaceful network of young leaders who possess the capacity to strengthen their respective communities by implementing community-building projects.”

Together, these global initiatives represent some of the most innovative ways that youth are using ICT to help bring lasting peace to the 21st century.

For more information and to get involved in International Youth Day 2017 visit:  https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/international-youth-day-2017.html

By Theadora Mills, ITU News

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Youth building peace with the help of ICTs

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