21 September 2020
The Southern Africa Youth Forum (SAYoF-SADC) a Regional platform for Youth and Youth Organizations in the SADC Region, today joins the rest of the World in celebrating the United Nations (UN) International Day of Peace. The 2020 theme for the day is, “Shaping Peace Together.” This comes after the successful convening of the 2nd SADC Youth Forum by SAYoF-SADC as well as the recently held, Southern Africa Inter-generational Dialogue on Youth Silencing the Guns Campaign where key issues of peace and stability and the need for solidarity among SADC Youth to foster sustainable peace were on the top of the agenda.
The SADC region continues to be affected by instability with the cases of Northern Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and continued Xenophobic attacks. The SADC region continues to enjoy a relative peaceful environment although these isolated cases remain a cause of concern. Young people continue to be at the centre of building sustainable peace, social cohesion and coexistence. The need for a more effective counterinsurgency strategy in Northern Mozambique should be comprehensive in nature and must also include humanitarian support; specifically designed to counter violent extremism while also support the efforts by the youth to end the scourge of violence.
With the United Nations Security Council underscoring the role of youth in preventing and resolving conflict; as well as in building and maintaining Sustainable Peace, by adopting resolution 2535. The important role that the youth play in peace-building must be emphasized. Through the SADC Youth for Peace project, SAYoF-SADC continues to prioritize the work of youth in peace-building.
The just ended 2nd SADC Youth Forum noted the increased youth irregular migration, unemployment, exclusion of youth in socio-political development; these factors militates against peace and stability. Therefore, the youth continue to call for an end of all sorts of violent conflicts and extremism, an end to Electoral and Gender-Based Violence in the region; by supporting, enhancing existing Regional Frameworks, allocating more resources and building sustainable inclusion of young people in peace and security processes.
The youth implore governments in the SADC region to take immediate action to stop the violent extremism, protect rights of youth migrants and address the need for increased Economic and Social Development within the member states. We also call for the integration of UN Security Council Resolution 2535 (2020) into the SADC Youth Development Programme, by coming up with Regional and National Action Plans for Youth, Peace, and Security; to create opportunities for Southern African youth both locally and regionally to be actively involved in promoting sustainable peace and security as decision-makers.SAYoF-SADC 2020 INT'L DAY OF PEACE STATEMENT