22 September 2016 - The Anna Lindh Foundation, central institution and reference point for intercultural dialogue across the Mediterranean, confirmed that it will be co-operating with the United Nations on the first UN Resolution on Youth, Peace and Security.
UN Resolution 2250, the very first global resolution of its kind on the role of young women and men, was unanimously adopted last December by the United Nations Security Council. The document recognises youth's role as key players in peace processes and challenging extremist narratives, and encourages the promotion of policies to put young people at the centre of peace and development work.
The Anna Lindh Foundation, which adopted last year "investment in youth" as the central pillar of its new 42-country backed strategic plan, will be engaged in the inter-agency steering committee set up to help guide the development of the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by Security Council Resolution 2250.
Speaking from New York, the UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, said: "We place great value on the Anna Lindh Foundation joining the global coalition of actors for Security Council Resolution 2250. We consider this partnership with the Foundation will be important to contributing to transforming Resolution 2250 into action at the Euro-Mediterranean level as a renewed policy impetus for young people's central role in peace, development and challenging violent extremists' narratives."
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Hatem Atallah, underlined that this new collaboration "based on shared objectives and universal values" is essential at a moment in history when "the scope of the regional challenges outweigh the individual institutions working in the face of unprecedented negative trends", adding that "young women and men are engines for transformation who require an enabling environment to assume their central role as change-makers."
Paul Walton, representing the Anna Lindh Foundation on the inter-agency committee, expressed the importance of "an effective and expanding cooperation with the United Nations that delivers in partnership with youth", opening up new opportunities to "scale-up and accelerate youth-led intercultural action in the face of forces fueling polarisation".
Operationalising UN Security Resolution 2250 at a Euro-Mediterranean level will be the focus of the opening debate at next month's 42-country MED FORUM in Valletta, Malta (23-25 October). Taking place on the eve of the Maltese EU Presidency (first semester of 2017), which has relations between Europe and its Mediterranean neighbourhood as a central theme, the Anna Lindh Foundation's MED FORUM will be the largest civil society and youth gathering for intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean, uniting a far-reaching coalition of actors from across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
The new cooperation has also been promoted by Sweden and Ministries of Foreign Affairs working on Euro-Mediterranean affairs affiliated to the Board of Governors of the Foundation. Member States have been debating this week at the UN Headquarters in New York issues of sustainable development and the global challenges of international security and international migration, on the occasion of the 71st regular session of the UN General Assembly.
This cooperation is aligned with the Anna Lindh Foundation’s work on the new International Cultural Relations strategy and ENP recently launched by of the European Union. It also builds on partnership work underway between the Foundation and UNESCO in the domain of youth and media development, and will be a focus for a forthcoming regional initiative to be launched this December by the Swedish Institute in Alexandria (SwedAlex) and the Foundation.