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The ICO Youth Council directly supports the organisation's work. This support varies but has included conflict transformation analysis, stakeholder mapping; pre-project situational analysis; desk-based background research, and advocacy strategy work.

 

The 2022 and 2023 Youth Council cohorts have been involved in work for Cameroon, Capo Verde, Israel & Palestine, Kosovo, Nigeria, Iraq, Cyprus and Northern Ireland.
Image by Patrick Fore

Why are young people's voices are so important?

ICO's Youth Council was created in response to a lack of tangible spaces and opportunities for young people to participate in promoting a more peaceful world. It is necessary for young people to be perceived as capable of thought leadership - their inclusion illustrates new perspectives on persistent conflicts and highlights emerging security concerns.

 

More importantly, young people are the future leaders of tomorrow. It is therefore imperative that they develop the tools, frameworks and approaches to build on conflict transformation understanding. It is with this participation that young people can be better equipped to sustain norms of discourse, cooperation and non-violence; and come to offer new ideas. In all parts of the world, a politically active young cohort helps to contribute to the resilience and stability of institutions.

 

Young people’s voices are also able to identify the experience, motivation and challenges faced by young people in conflict affected areas. Moreover, we must prioritise structures for young people - which are often severely affected by violence and not prioritised in post-conflict reconstruction - to place them at the forefront of the peace building agenda.

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