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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.7 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 September 2021
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  1. Forthcoming policy developments
  2. Ongoing debates 

Forthcoming policy developments

On 20th of August 2021, Finland’s first National Action Plan on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security was published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. According to the publication information given by the ministry, 'the plan is prepared in collaboration with active youth and representatives of youth organisations, central government, research institutes and civil society. The Action Plan specifies five priorities: participation; prevention; partnerships; protection; and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. The goals and actions apply to Finland's actions both at home and globally. The Action Plan's cross-cutting theme is intersectionality, while other important themes are climate change and new technologies.' Both the government and civil society will be active in implementing the programme, see more in: Youth, Peace and Security: Finland's National Action Plan 2021–2024. See also the News of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 28th of August 2021: National Action Plan on Youth, Peace and Security focuses on young people’s participation in peace work.

This youth inclusive policy development is also under scientific studying. In the subproject ´Creating sustainable well-being´ of the ALL-YOUTH research project 2018-2023 the research group have observed  and been actively involved in the development of the above mentioned National Action Plan on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security. The studies focus on environmental conflict resolution and the creation of new methods opening up possibilities for youth to be part of the environmental conflict resolution processes, see more about the theoretical background of the process.

The research shows that youth should not be responsibilised in a top-down manner when it comes to rebuilding trust between the actors in post-conflict situations where conflicts have a tendency to re-escalate (see Mustalahti & Agrawal eds. 2021 Responsibilization in Natural Resource Governance.) The strategies of making individuals responsible for their own well-being is a feature consistent with the ongoing governance revolution in other social domains, such as illness and health, education, crime and legality, and corporate cost management. In sum, youth participation and inclusion for the prevention and resolution of conflict requires long-term state efforts to ensure the social protection of youth constituencies (See: Event report of the First International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes).

Youth-led mediation efforts require the integration of conflict sensitive and do-no-harm- principles. The mediation efforts as well as collaborative processes are long-term transformation processes that require time, recognition of the conflict roots, and dialogue to respectfully restructure the events and facts that initiated and increased the dispute. The young people who are involved in these types of long processes need protection of their rights, including the right to withdraw from the process when their civic spaces or private life and families are at risk.

The ALL-YOUTH-research project is funded by the government, namely by the Strategic Research Council under Academy of Finland, decision no 312689. An important element of such strategic research is the active collaboration between those who produce new knowledge and those who use it.

Ongoing debates

The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE released a news item (21.9.2021) about a young representative of Finland in the European Citizen’s Panel: Neea Kurri, 21, sai ensimakua EU-vaikuttamisesta tulevaisuusfoorumissa Strasbourgissa – "Haluaisin nostaa esiin samat lähtökohdat kaikille taustasta riippumatta" (Neea Kurri, 21, got a first taste of making an impact in the EU in the future forum in Strasbourg. “I would like to highlight how important it is that everyone has equal possibilities despite their backgrounds”). As reported in the News, four persons pro EU-member countries were randomly chosen, and Kurri from Kokkola, a city located in west-coast of Finland, was both surprised and delighted when she heard about the opportunity of becoming a representative of young people. She found the themes of the sub team she belongs to, very important: employment, social equality and the economy.