Ashaiman — Samuel Ojo, National Secretary for Youth Affairs Ghana United Nations Association (GUNA), has urged the youth to champion the need for peace in the society.
He said young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace, thus, the need for the youth to desist from any form of conflict that would eventually reel devastations in their communities and country.
Samuel Ojo, in an interview with The Chronicle on the International Youth Day, said, "Young people's inclusion in the peace and security agenda and in society more broadly, is key to building and sustaining peace.
"The process of social inclusion for youth, including participation in decision-making, as well as access to quality education, health care and basic services, promotes their role as active contributors to society and affords them with opportunities to reach their potential and achieve their goals. "When youth are excluded from political, economic and social spheres and processes, it can be a risk factor for violence and violent forms of conflict. Therefore, identifying and addressing the social exclusion of young people is a precondition for sustaining peace."
This year's International Youth Day was celebrated on the theme: 'Youth Building Peace', and the GUNA National Secretary for Youth Affairs explained that the current generation of youth are the largest in history.
Since young people, therefore, comprise the majority in countries marked by armed conflict or unrest, Mr. Ojo said is demographically imperative for authorities to consider the needs and aspirations of youth in matters of peace and security.
Again, he called on all stakeholders from the government, traditional rulers, religious leaders and well- to-do business people to empower the youths in peace building instead of arming them to cause violence.
Mr. Ojo explained that the scale and challenges of sustaining peace require partnerships between stakeholders, including youth organisations, hence reaffirming the important role youth play in deterring and resolving conflicts.
In this regard, he said GUNA would continue to support all moves that are geared towards attaining the agenda for peace and security.
Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. International Youth Day 2017, therefore, is dedicated to celebrating young people's contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. "GUNA youths call for peace in all the regions that are grieving for reasons of political, religious, cultural, and tribal conflicts, put an end to direct and indirect xenophobia and stereotype," Samuel Ojo urged.