The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security is a platform that brings together youth-led organizations from the region to dialogue, share experiences, take collective action and connect with other stakeholders at national and international levels. Created in 2020, the Coalition aims to bridge the gap between the global context related to Youth, Peace and Security agenda and the region, and to push the agenda in the local context.
We strive for a peaceful world where young people and all rights holders in all their diversity are equals in decision-making.
Equip young people in the MENA region with the tools to implement the YPS agenda and capacitate them to lead it independently. The coalition seeks to build a MENA region on the collective principles of solidarity, justice, equity, universality, inclusion, human rights, diversity and the integrity of the MENA region.
By 2016, there were about 87 million people from the MENA region directly affected by war and conflict which represented about one-third of the region’s population. Most of the victims were youth. In addition to this direct violence, all MENA countries continue to suffer from systemic violence, such as injustice, corruption, lack of democracy, and failed governance. While youth and youth organizations began and continue to fight for peaceful change that achieves inclusive, just, and democratic societies, many young peacebuilders and human rights defenders face serious risks to their safety and security. Attacks on their basic human and civic rights, such as on their freedom of movement, assembly, association, and expression through physical, psychological, and digital means in authoritarian countries in the region are the rule, rather than the exception. Despite various international initiatives championing the role of youth activism in driving positive change, e.g. the Youth, Peace, Security Agenda or the Women, Peace and Security Agenda,, the MENA region remains a difficult place for young people to engage in altering the very conditions they are affected by.
Within this context, a group of leaders of youth organizations from the MENA region who contributed to advancing the YPS agenda met at several events organized by various organizations such as the North and South Center of the Council of Europe, GPPAC, UNOY, SFCG, and others. In these meetings, they agreed on the necessity and importance of collective action to solve the above-mentioned challenges thorough pushing forward the implementation and localization of the YPS agenda in the MENA region and promoting youth activism. They also maintained that this will not be achieved without networking and building partnerships with stakeholders and decision-makers at the national, regional and international levels, mobilizing resources and building the capacities of youth in the region around this agenda.
After organizing many youth consultations and meeting with stakeholders, the MENA coalition on YPS was officially launched in a major event held to mark the celebration of the International Day of Peace in September 2020.
Values & Principles
The MENA Coalition on YPS and its members commit to:
- Active youth participation and leadership in the coalition.
- Transparency, cooperation and complementarity in joint work and coordination of efforts , ensuring the comprehensive representation of organizations and youth representatives, and taking into account gender balance in membership.
- A comprehensive and inclusive approach to membership selection and working methodology.
- The principle of rotation in all the roles and responsibilities of the regional coalition.
- Planning and implementation based on a resource-based approach and a needs-based approach, based on the strengths and capabilities of organizations and individuals who are members of the coalition.
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