Youth Participation in Parliaments and Peace and Security

Youth Participation in Parliaments and Peace and Security

This research paper highlights linkages between youth participation in parliament and peace and security in the world. Youth are vastly underrepresented among the world’s parliamentarians, only 1.9 per cent of whom are under the age of 30.This gap in representation undermines the legitimacy of institutions, exacerbates feelings of disempowerment among youth, and limits parliaments’ ability to address key issues that affect youth. In addition, the international community has increasingly recognized the political exclusion of youth as a key potential factor in youth’s involvement in violent activity. UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (UNSCR 2250) specifically urges Member States to increase inclusive representation of youth in decision- making at all levels to prevent and resolve conflict. 

Key questions explored in this study include:

  • What are the linkages between youth-inclusive parliaments and the maintenance of peace and security?
  • To what extent are youth currently represented in parliament and involved on peace and security issues?
  • What impact, if any, has youth participation in parliament had on peace and security so far?
  • What are the challenges for building a more youth-inclusive parliament and how can they be addressed?

The paper's finding are based on close examination of four post-conflict or transition contexts (the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia) as well as extensive desk research on other contexts around the globe. The paper is also IPU's contribution to the UN's Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015). 

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