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Statement by Counsellor Yao Shaojun at the Open Meeting of UNAOC Group of Friends on "Role of Young People in Peacebuilding"

2014-06-26 00:16

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to thank the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations for convening this meeting of the Group of Friends. China has listened attentively to the presentations by the ASG Ms. Judy Cheng-Hopkins and the Secretary General's Envoy on Youth Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi. Maintaining international peace and security is one of the purposes of the UN Charter and one of the pillars of the UN's work. Timely peace building in post-conflict countries is conducive to consolidating peace, promoting development and eradicating root causes of conflicts. In this connection, I would like to make the following observations:

Firstly, post-conflict countries should be in the driver seat during the process of peacebuilding. Post-conflict countries bear the primary responsibility for their own nation building. The international community should fully respect the sovereignty and will of the country concerned, and provide assistance in priority areas as identified by the government concerned, with particular focus on capacity building both for the government and for the people. Special attention should be given to economic development and effective measures taken to reinforce assistance to help the country concerned realize economic recovery and reconstruction as soon as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all mode for peace building and the international community should fully respect the historical and cultural tradition and practical needs of the country concerned, bear in mind the unique situation of each country and avoid taking a cookie-cutter approach.

Secondly, the role of young people in peacebuilding should be given full play. Young people constitute a large portion of the population. They are full of vitality and dynamism, and represent the future of mankind. So, they should be given the opportunity to leverage their advantages and make positive contribution to peace building. They should be able to be fully involved in all stages of peace building and their views must be widely sought and heeded. Only through this, the peacebuilding will be sustainable.

Thirdly, special needs of young people need to be taken into full consideration in peacebuilding. Young people are a special group. Experience of various countries has shown that the situation and condition of young people are essential to social stability and development. In the process of peace building, we should take care of the special needs of young people, provide them with sufficient access to education and employment, enhance their social integration, heal their psychological suffering in the aftermath of conflicts, and cultivate their sense of social responsibility, so that they will benefit from the peacebuilding efforts. Only through this, the peacebuilding will be inclusive.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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