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Security Council Open VTC Towards the 5th Anniversary of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda: Accelerating Implementation of Resolutions 2250 and 2419

Monday, 27 April 2020
New York, New York








The Philippines thanks the members of the Security Council for their continued efforts to advance the Youth, Peace and Security in its work. We express our gratitude to the Presidency of the Dominican Republic for convening this very important VTC debate. We also thank the Secretary-General, the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and other briefers for their insightful statements.

The Philippines has consistently held the conviction that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow as well as of today. Young people have the potential to be the greatest resource for sustainable economic growth and development. Having one of the youngest populations in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines recognizes the urgency to leverage the demographic dividend not only for purposes of economic development, but also for peace and security.

As provided for in our Constitution, the Philippine state recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building, and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs. Consistent with this mandate, the Philippine Government, through the National Youth Commission, established and implements the Philippine Youth Development Plan 2017 – 2022. This Plan is anchored on and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. Under the Plan, the youth are guaranteed participation in 9 areas vital to nation-building: health, education, economic empowerment, social inclusion and equality, governance, active citizenship, the environment, global mobility, and peace- building and security.

The peace-building and security area involves the youth’s active engagement in promoting human security, including through participation in conflict prevention and management initiatives, in public order and safety efforts, as well as in safeguarding


national integrity and sovereignty. The Government pursues a strategy of optimizing youth participation in the peace process. It also promotes the pro-social participation of delinquent youth, youth in conflict with the law and drug-dependent youth in order to foster rehabilitation and re-integration.

The Philippines fully supports Security Council Resolutions 2250 and 2419 and their aims of actively engaging young people to participate meaningfully in peace processes and dispute resolution. Young people have unique skills and perspectives that can inform and benefit peace negotiations. The Philippine Government’s commitment to include young people in the peace-building process was demonstrated through the crafting of the National Action Plan for Youth, Peace, and Security, and the establishment of the Youth Peace Tables. Consultations with the youth, including dialogue opportunities between them and different actors and stakeholders in the peace process, created space for young people to express the concerns and issues that are specific to their demographic.

The youth played an important role in the peace negotiations between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Most of the legal team members of the Government peace panel were young people who contributed substantially to the preparation of the technical papers used by the negotiating parties and in the drafting of the Bangsamoro Organic law, the foundational law that creates a truly autonomous region in Mindanao and the foundation needed to foster stability of the security situation in the region.

The youth, especially the women, as young as in their 20s, played valuable roles to promote women’s rights in the conflict areas in Mindanao. These young women were part of the legal teams and brought the gender lens to the peace agreement through their engagement with informal women’s rights networks and their successful push to include stronger provisions against domestic violence. They worked with government stakeholders crucial to the peace process, such as the armed forces and the Department of Justice, and in strengthening its confidence building measures. These less politically sensitive functions taken on by young people on the different sides of the negotiation table played a key role in building bridges across party lines. This made a significant contribution to forging creative solutions in the negotiation process.

Young people were also involved in ceasefire monitoring teams. They accompanied senior negotiators during visits to the communities. The joint coordination and assistance mechanism relied on young volunteers who were critical in the formal ceasefire process. At the forefront of the armed conflict, young people were also involved in conducting investigative field work and monitoring accountability to the ceasefire by negotiating parties.

During the negotiations between the Philippine Government and the MILF, violent clan conflicts were delaying the advance of the peace negotiations. A youth- focused organization saw the need to address clan feuds and gathered recommendations for mediating three (3) critical feuds through extensive consultation.


Through the process, three clan wars were solved. A clan peace agreement was signed in a ceremony witnessed by representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Third Party Monitoring Team.

After the Government reclaimed the City of Marawi from the hands of ISIS elements in 2017, the National Youth Commission established Youth Hubs in order to assist displaced young people who are transferring to shelters. The youth were provided with peer-to-peer counselling and opportunities for training in computer literacy, entrepreneurship, good governance, and livelihood.

Peace negotiations are human resource-intensive. From organizing logistics, to coordinating meetings and preparing documentation, the youth often play critical supportive roles. The same is true for efforts to address massive health challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Young nurse leaders and advocates are at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Young people, including youth volunteers, also play a crucial role in delivering assistance to communities in quarantine. Their skills in utilizing information technology to disseminate crucial information to the greater population should be harnessed. Their insights are important in addressing mental health issues that affect their fellow young people and other demographics.

In closing, the Philippines reiterates its appreciation to the Security Council and the Presidency of the Dominican Republic for this opportunity to share experiences and good practices in involving young people in peace-building processes and implementing the Youth Peace and Security agenda at the national level.


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