As part of ongoing efforts to support the Transitional Government of Sudan in peacebuilding, a three-day Youth Consultations Forum attended by more than 250 youth ended yesterday in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan state.
The consultations started on the 6th September and brought together youth from both, government and SPLM-N controlled areas. The forum provided a much-needed platform for youth after years of divisive conflict, facilitating their inclusion in decision-making and civic dialogue, in turn, their contribution to a peaceful and inclusive post-revolutionary Sudan.
“These consultations have come at the right time” said Catherine Northing, IOM Chief of Mission in Sudan. “South Kordofan youth make up the majority of the state’s population and need to be kept front and center in peacebuilding initiatives. They are a driving force to be included in decision-making and efforts of community stabilization, thus providing opportunities for them to stay and contribute to the development of their state and the wider Sudan.”
The consultations process which is led by Dr. Hamid Al-Bashir, the South Kordofan State Governor, creating opportunities for dialogue between traditional and community leaders and youth who represented all walks of life including displaced people, ethnic and religious minorities. The initiative is part of the efforts under the strategic partnership between the government at the state and locality-level and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, Search for Common Ground, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“Youths are main actors in the political and socio-economic landscape and should be represented in decision making,” said Axel Bisschop, UNHCR Representative in Sudan. “UNHCR is pleased to be associated with this initiative.”
The high-level event was also attended by the Federal Minister of Agriculture, the Undersecretary of the Federal Ministry of Social Development as well as representatives from the state government and representatives from UN agencies and partners in Sudan.
“This forum represented a great platform for youth to take part in deciding Sudan’s future and they have used it to set their own agenda. Securing peace, advancing educational opportunities and decreasing youth unemployment were reaffirmed as priorities by the youth. UNICEF is committed to supporting and amplifying this vision," said Mary Louise Eagleton, the Deputy Representative for Sudan Country Office.
The consultations resulted in recommendations on strengthening youth engagement in peace, humanitarian assistance, and development. Equally important, the youth called for the formation of a youth mechanism to coordinate their participation in decision-making processes as well as supporting youth to ensure their strong participation in the ongoing peace talks and support programmes to curb criminal activity as well as the spread of drugs.
For more information, please contact:
1. Reem Abbas- Communications Speicalist, UNICEF Sudan- 0912333763/ email@example.com
2. Lisa George- Communications Officer, IOM Sudan - 0922406601/ firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Assadullah Nasrullah, Communications Officer, UNHCR Sudan 0912178991/ NASRULLA@unhcr.org