. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY .
By: JERRY BIBANG
The National Coordination of the Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace (PAYNCoP Gabon) took part, on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in the working session of the Under-Secretary of the United Nations, in charge of peace and security issues, Ms. Bintou Keita, with Gabonese Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The meeting, which took place on the margins of the 7th Peace Forum, organized in Libreville, enabled Ms. Bintou to exchange views with Gabonese CSOs on issues of development, peace and security at the national level.
Speaking on the contribution of young people to development and peacebuilding, the National Coordinator of PAYNCoP Gabon advocated for the contribution of young people on two levels: participation and action. Young people are a force for proposal and action.
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Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?
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Unfortunately, despite the normative framework favorable to their participation, in particular resolution 2250 (young people, peace and security) of the UN Security Council, the African Youth Charter and the National Youth Policy, their participation remains a real challenge at a national level. They are marginalized and their needs and aspirations and their opinions are not taken into account. The worrying unemployment rate, the alarming situation of the education system as well as that of the National Youth Council are examples of this situation. How can young people contribute to the development of the country when if are not associated in decision-making?
In addition, alongside participation at the decision-making level, young people are in action. They take initiatives, carry out multiple and varied activities in different fields.
Unfortunately, these activities are limited due to insufficient resources. So we need support, funding to be more effective. In the associative framework, the Gabonese are excluded from certain financings because of the statute of our country (Country with Intermediate Income) whereas that remains a theoretical reality for the majority of Gabonese. In fact, decent accommodation, good training, food, treatment and decent work remains a privilege in Gabon as well as in Burundi or Sudan, classified among the poorest countries in the world.
In response to these remarks, the Under-Secretary of the United Nations promised to relay these observations to whom it should concern. She encouraged the young people not to give up because the youth is the present and the future of Gabon and Africa.