On the 20th of February 2019, 17 new directors plus two country heads were sworn in at the Ghana Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new country heads are John Vinzelts and Lilian Sally Addo (deputy). Mr. John Vinzelts assured that this new team will exhibit team spirit and hard work to push the youth of this country to understand peace and security. 

Peace instead of violence

Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, their predecessor as the first ever envoy on youth, said: “Young people aren’t trouble makers by nature, but they need hope to contribute to society and many are becoming hopeless now”. The new youth representatives identify troubles in various communities which are not helping the development of the country. Peace is what brings development in most communities, but violence cannot. The youth are the future leaders of every country, the youth must be allowed to make some decisions. Most of the youth do not have confident in the older generations. Vinzelts said a lot of youth clubs will be formed and organize attractive and educative activities that will help the youth to participate in decision making.

UN youth in Ghana

The UN Youth Ghana was founded in 2016 in accordance with the resolution 2250 on youth,  peace and security of the United Nations. The resolution recognized the voice of the youth and their participation in decision making at all levels. UN Youth Ghana conducts research and analysis on youth and provides information to governments, youth, civil society and other parts of the United Nations system on issues and activities relating to youth development. It publishes the biannual World Youth Report, which presents analytical discussions on selected topics related to youth development. Taking a regional approach, the 2007 Report, for example, examined the opportunities and challenges that youth face during their transition to adulthood.

Grassroots activities

Various activities of the organization aim to support and encourage local youth initiatives and their meaningful engagement in the development dialogue. The organisation works with youth-led organizations that are working with young people, particularly at the grassroots level, to address various areas of the World Programme of Action for Youth. Examples of such partners are national student unions, national religious student unions, national youth based organizations, national course based organizations, political and social atavism groups, sports and recreational groups, service and honorary societies for persons with disabilities, regional groups, social clubs, NGOs and civil society organizations.

Young people building sustainable peace globally

On 9 December 2015, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2250 on youth peace and security. The historical document is the first of its kind to recognize the positive role young people play in building sustainable peace and to lay out the need for governments and other stakeholders to support young people in this role. It represents a landmark for the participation of young people involved in transforming conflict peace building and countering violence.The global call also urges the youth to lobby to their government on the importance of having a UN youth representative and delegates to the UN General Assembly, whilst working in cooperation with their foreign affairs ministries.

Inclusive development

From the description of Youth from United Nations perspective with a global population of over 1.8 billion people, youth are the world’s greatest untapped resource, possessing the talents and ambition to overcome society’s biggest challenges. In order to achieve the 2030 Agenda, it is imperative to engage youth as beneficiaries, stakeholders and leaders in the global movement for inclusive and sustainable development.

This story was written by Mark Sandow, community development journalist from Krachi Nchumburu district in the Volta region. There reason for publishing this story is to help promote peace and security in various communities in Ghana through the youth. Since this is a blog for local news and community development in the rural area of Ghana, it fits the scope of communitywatchdoggh.com.

Pictures by Ishmael.