‘Nigerian Youths are Stakeholders in Building Sustainable Peace and Security’

Godbless Eduviere:

To celebrate young people’s contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially in conflict prevention, transformation and inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace, a non-governmental organisation, Youth Orientation for Development (YOD), marked the International Day with some youths in Lagos. Celebrating the 2017 International Youth Day with the theme ‘Youth Building Peace’, the NGO, a UNICEF affiliate said that the event was aimed at mobilising youths as agents of building peace and security in the country.

In his opening remark, YOD President, Ambassador Emmanuel Ejiogu, said that the day was dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions because they are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustainable peace in the society.

According to him, “The current generation of youths are the largest in history and young people often comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, therefore considering the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security is a demographic imperative.

“Youth’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies has affirmed that sustainable development cannot be realised without peace and security. Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels.

“The World Programme of Action for Youth, also encourages promoting the active involvement of youths in maintaining peace and security and this is why in marking this year’s International Day in Nigeria, our organisation, YOD, which is solely a youth based UNESCO NGO, is putting together a day event on youth participation in building peace,” Ejiogu said.

The international guest, Seif Eldawla Merbah in his remarks called for more participation of Nigerian youths in achieving SDG 16. He noted that youths are one of the important stakeholders in the United Nations development goals and should rise to the challenge. Merbah who encouraged the youths to always be agents of peace wherever they go said that conflict, unrest as well as war hampers growth and development of people and the society.

Urging the young people to feel free to participate in the conflict management, social justice and sustainable peace, Merbah said, “We all are humans with one soul. We share one soul. I noticed that some of the students were not fully participating. They are not being close because they do not have peace inside of them. We all are human and no matter where, who and what we are, we all are the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, which is one soul. We want you to feel like there is no difference between us, because we are all the same, no matter what we believe.”
However, the event saw students from various schools around Lagos who dedicated songs to wrap up its message of peace and security as well as entertain guests. They were also given opportunities to air their views and discuss possible measures they think are necessary for building peace and security in the Nigeria.

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