International Youth Day was officially on August 12, 2017, and the theme for this year was “Youth building peace”. In commemoration of this day, on August 19, 2017 the United Nations Suriname organized a capacity building session on advocacy for 50 youth representatives of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG) of UNFPA and other Youth Organizations in Suriname at the Business Booster Building of the Chamber of Commerce. The focus of this workshop was on “Advocacy for Positive Reinforcement of Youth Participation to Combat Violence and Harness Youth Development”. After several presentations and an interactive training session on advocacy, participants had to create and present an advocacy message.
Youth should be given the opportunity to contribute to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that “ Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security”. Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people, also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security”. The workshop was a success and participants left with new ideas on how to contribute to a peaceful society and on how to advocate their message better.