The World YWCA recently engaged in the international youth conference “Youth Participate and Youth Decide: Towards Freedom and Justice” which brought together over 500 participants in person and more connected by video link. The conference was organised by the National YWCA of Palestine (which celebrated its 125th anniversary during the event!) in partnership with human rights organisations both locally and internationally. The conference’s aim was to create a platform and meaningful opportunity for youth participation, representation, and engagement in the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2250 with the aspiration of soliciting global support and building international networks of solidarity.
Over the course of the conference, youth activists shared local and international advocacy initiatives that have been successful in implementing the UNSCR 2250. On the final day of the event, participants peacefully marched in the City of Ramallah to call on the Palestinian National Authority to ensure that young women are involved at every stage of achieving justice and freedom for all. Palestinian youth in particular shared their experiences of living under occupation and discussed efforts to implement UNSCR 2250.
Prior to the conference, international attendees, including World YWCA Team, took part in a two-day visit as a unique opportunity to bear witness to the realities of life under occupation and apartheid rule. Lastly, the World YWCA, as an Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC) member, pushed for closing the trust deficit between young people and the intergenerational community to ensure youth help co-design and co-create sustainable systems to promote peace and security in the region.