Youth and Peace in the Indo-Pacific: Policy, Practice, Action

November 2019

Convenors: Dr Helen Berents, Dr Caitlin Mollica and Professor Jacqui True

The impact of conflict and insecurity significantly affects youth throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Yet they are often marginalised or excluded from the institutions tasked with implementing peace and security. This workshop brought together established and emerging expertise from across Australia to consider how policy responses and scholarship can better engage with the peace and security challenges facing young people in Australia’s neighbourhood, the Indo-Pacific region. As attention to youth, peace and security grows in our region, this workshop was timely in reflecting on work to date and developing future agendas and practices going forward.

 

The workshop highlighted three key areas for further action:

  1. Young people’s experience must be taken seriously. Further consideration should be given to ensuring how work with youth can reject tokenistic approaches and include youth in all stages of research or program design and delivery
  2. Youth-led peacebuilding programs must be adequately funded and supported. Critical reflection on how to address barriers that prevent youth from accessing funding should be given further thought.
  3. Knowledge from the challenges and opportunities of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda in the region can be drawn on to assist in best-practice work with youth. In particular this includes consideration of transparency, partnerships, substantive participation, and the relationships between formal and informal sites of peace and security that resonate across both agendas.