The second Annual Youth Forum for Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel calls for strengthening the role of youth in building peaceful and resilient societies
Abuja, 10 December, 2021 - The United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in collaboration with the Center for the Development of Youth and Sports (CDJS) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), organized from 9 to 10 December 2021 in Abuja, Nigeria, the second annual forum of young women and men for peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel.
The theme of this second forum, "Young women and men at the heart of innovation and the construction of peaceful and resilient societies", aimed at discussing the initiatives and the means to be implemented to strengthen the contribution of youth in building peaceful, resilient and prosperous societies in West Africa and the Sahel.
During the two days of the forum, about two hundred young women and men from 14 countries, addressed various themes such as the necessary collaboration between the authorities and young people to strengthen good governance, democracy, and development, as well as the contribution of youth in building an innovative ecosystem.
Echoing the interrogations and proposals of the youth, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, reaffirmed the need to take measures to further support young people. “Innovation by the youth as a strategic tool to strengthen peace and development should be considered as a priority," he said during his intervention.. He also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations and UNOWAS to remain mobilized to provide, in collaboration with ECOWAS and other partners, the necessary support to help young people fully play their role in strengthening peace, democracy and development in West Africa and the Sahel.
After two days of work, young women and men present at the forum launched the Abuja Call to Action for building peaceful and resilient societies in West Africa and the Sahel.
The Abuja Call to Action contains a series of recommendations that have been formulated to the attention of the authorities of the countries and partners in the sub-region.
The forum saw the participation of the Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, representatives of the Nigerian government, the Diplomatic Corps, civil society organizations, ECOWAS and the United Nations System in Nigeria.
The Annual Forums of Young Women and Men for Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel are part of the activities of UNOWAS in partnership with ECOWAS to implement Resolutions 2250 (2015 ), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) relating to youth, peace and security. The first forum took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in December 2018.