Ulkoministeri Timo Soinin puhe YK:n yleiskokouksen yhteydessä järjestetyssä Suomen sivutapahtumassa Engaging youth in mediation – a step towards lasting peace 27. syyskuuta 2018. 27 September 2018
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On behalf of Co-Chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation I would like to warmly welcome you all to the high-level side event "Engaging youth in mediation – a step towards lasting peace” which I am pleased to co-host together with my colleague Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
The Group of Friends of Mediation has gathered already eight times during UNGA to discuss different aspects of mediation. Given increasing interest and need for wide support for UN mediation efforts, we decided to open the discussion this year to the whole membership of the United Nations.
We have been pleased to recognize that conflict prevention including mediation has become a top priority on the United Nations’ and its Member States’ agenda. The Secretary-General himself has made way to this approach by highlighting the importance of preventive diplomacy. Four UNGA Resolutions adopted by consensus have strengthened the role of mediation and the Group has succeeded in increasing awareness of mediation within the United Nations and its Member States. What we lack is implementation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today we want to focus on youth; young men and women. We think that this important topic calls for our undivided attention. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2250 (2015) and 2419 (2018) on Youth, Peace and Security promote the idea of youth as a positive force towards peace. They emphasize the role young men and women could play in conflict prevention and resolution, including mediation. These resolutions help us challenge assumptions, recognize the work of those youth not involved in violence, and find ways to meaningfully include them in political discussions as well as in mediation processes.
For Finland, mediation continues to be one our foreign policy priorities. Inclusive mediation processes are a key issue for us. We advocate for women’s and youth’s full and effective participation as an urgent priority in mediation. The relevance of inclusivity in peace processes is widely understood but for no obvious reason to me, still in many cases neglected. We must make sure that more women as well as young people participate in peace processes. My Special Representative on Mediation, Mrs. Jutta Urpilainen, who is a former Minister of Finance and a MP and who is here with us today, focuses on women and young people in Africa.
Finland is committed to taking the Youth, Peace and Security agenda forward. I’m pleased to continue today our conversation with the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Youth, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, who I hosted in Helsinki last April. I am also proud to announce that Finland will be the first country in the world to initiate a process to formulate a National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250. We also look forward to holding a first international conference that concentrates on the participation of young men and women in peace processes in Helsinki next year.
To conclude, let me quote former Secretary-General Kofi Annan: "Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for devel-opment and peace.”. Let’s empower the young women and men to make peace.