Synergizing Partnerships and Funding Opportunities Between the WPS and YPS Agendas
Inclusivity | July 2023
The contribution of faith communities is instrumental in socially transitioning to climate neutrality and developing innovative solutions to combating the climate crisis.
On Wednesday, July 12, the Peacemakers Network hosted its third Inclusivity-based Community of Practice meeting of 2023, “Synergizing Partnerships and Funding Opportunities Between the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security Agendas (YPS).” In case you missed the meeting, you can find a recording of the event here.
The Network’s Senior Specialist on Inclusive Peace, Jessica Roland, began the meeting by welcoming over 90 participants and providing an overview of the agenda. The discussion then turned to four guest presenters who showcased practical tools that can be used to synergize the WPS and YPS agendas.
The first guest presenter was Policy Specialist for Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding in the Peace, Security and Resilience Section in UN Women, Lea Biason, who spoke about how the need to focus and promote young women peacebuilders. Biason raised the UN Women Study on, “Young Women in Peace and Security: At the Intersection of the YPS and WPS Agendas,” and the Women Peace and Security and Humanitarian Compact as findings for synergy areas between the WPS and YPS agendas. Biason also raised the, “Youth Leap Into Gender Equality,” strategy document as another resource to promote synergies in empowering young women and men as partners in achieving gender equality.
A one-dimensional approach grouping all young people together without a gender lens, or all women together without an age lens, regardless of the specificities of their contexts, experiences and skills, both discriminates against young women, and disregards them as agents with a set of unique abilities that can open the door to additional peacebuilding opportunities.
UN Women. Young Women in Peace and Security: At the Intersection of the YPS and WPS Agendas. 2018. https://bit.ly/3OhNDid
The second guest presenter was Resource Mobilization and Communications Specialist at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP), Shawna Crystal, who used the example of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as a way to synergize and strengthen the WPS and YPS agendas through GNWP’s, “Better Together: How to Strengthen the Synergies Between the WPS and YPS Resolutions and CEDAW,” manual. This framework urges Member States to be held accountable in their work, including in addressing the exclusion of women and youth in decision-making spaces. Crystal also raised GNWP’s, “Connecting WPS and YPS to Beijing+25 and the Generation Equality Forum,” advocacy recommendations paper as another mechanism to strengthen both agendas.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) are two legal frameworks that provide the highest set of standards for gender equality, women’s rights, and women’s meaningful participation in decision-making at all levels. The Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda further contributes to this legal framework by challenging the stereotype of young women as victims and young men as perpetrators of violence.
GNWP. Training Manual: Better together: How to effectively strengthen the synergies between Women, Peace and Security and Youth, Peace and Security resolutions and CEDAW? 2022. https://bit.ly/3rBu23K
The third guest presenter was a Fellow at the Centre for Justice, Queensland University of Technology, Erika Yague, who was also the lead writer of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), “With Us and For Us,” Youth Guidelines on working with and for young people in humanitarian and protracted crises. Yague showcased how the guidelines promoted services, participation, capacity, resources and data as areas for synergy between the WPS and YPS agendas, including capturing age and gender within all action taken.
Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action With Us & For Us: IASC Guidelines on Working with and for Young People in Humanitarian and Protracted Crises
The final guest presenter was Co-Facilitator of the Civil Society UN Prevention Platform, Marina Kumskova, who spoke about policy opportunities to strengthen and finance the YPS and WPS agendas. Kumskova called for fully funded national action plans, quality financing, youth and gender markers and commitment at the capital level and raised the documents, “Financing for Young People in Peacebuilding,” and “Advancing Prevention Across Sectors and Institutions: Collective Pathways for Effective Prevention,” as additional resources.
The meeting then held a fireside chat with moderator Wajid Zahid, Country Ambassador for Peace First, and with speakers: Saumya Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO for Youth for Peace International; Ellie Sugden, Co-Founder of Our Generation for Inclusive Peace; and Sarra Sfaxi, Programme Analyst for the UN Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund.
Aggarwal began the conversation by examining the benefits of the WPS and YPS agendas conducting joint advocacy initiatives. Aggarwal called for allies of both agendas to become allies and create an inclusive advocacy coalition.
Sugden then focused on the available research synergies that exist between the WPS and YPS agendas. Sugden raised the challenge that within the peacebuilding space, academia and literature that there are many power structures that need to be addressed. To address these power structures, Sugden called for a resource hub to be more inclusive of resources, including poems, articles and op-eds.
Finally, Sfaxi focused on financing synergy opportunities and raised that the issues around lack of flexible funding opportunities, lack of institutional support and lack of protection exist in both the WPS and YPS spaces. Sfaxi raised that the Women, Peace and Humanitarian Fund is seeking to more intentional with integrating young people in their work and that in their 2025 strategic plan, they plan to increase their engagement with youth and disseminating more opportunities to be available for youth-led organizations.
The discussion then moved into breakout groups for participants in the meeting to be able to speak to how they are synergizing the WPS and YPS within their work. Based on the group discussions, below are opportunities raised to further strengthen partnership opportunities between the YPS and WPS agendas.
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