Seminar UN Envoy on Youth

The Chair facilitated a session on Thursday 20 May 2021, with the UN Secretary Generals’ Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake. In her talk the UN Envoy on Youth discussed UN priorities and issues concerning youth, peace and security.

This dialogue was part of the new seminar series entitled Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series explores the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.

The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), the Centre for Youth Research and Dialogue and Interpeace.

To review all posts about the series, click Categories, Events and “Youth Leadership Series” on right side bar.

UN Youth Envoy & Young Leaders

On Thursday 20 May 2021, the UN Secretary Generals’ Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, held a unique meeting with 20 young people from across 10 local and regional organisations in Northern Ireland and the border regions.

Jayathma Wickramanayake

This was part of the new seminar series entitled Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series.

In preparation for a public dialogue with the UN Secretary Generals’ Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, 10 youth organisations were consulted and detailed discussions took place. Here Elizabeth McArdle of Ulster University and Youth Pact who led the webinar with the Chair, captures the spirit of what was discussed and shares two padlets reflecting content put forward by the youth groups who took part. 

Young People as contributors to peace

Padlet. To view the details click this link.

Resolution 2250 recognises the contribution that young people make to peace and security locally and globally. Young leaders explained the work and roles they undertake to build grassroots communities and peace-building initiatives locally; from community gardens, to podcasts on mental health; from drumming workshops to recording My Story; from lobbying and campaigning to civic action and marches. 

To see the work and actions of this group of young leaders, click this link.

Young participants spoke about the building of tolerance within our society; with competing identities that need to find space to exist. Where tolerance is lacking, then violence spills over.  However, tolerance was viewed as a pitstop on the journey, with real acceptance and connection with other different people and cultures being part of a lasting peace.  

Issues of education were fore-fronted with the educational under-achievement of Protestant young people highlighted and access issues for young people with disabilities adding to issues of systemic inequality.  For these, young people called for greater engagement with the formal education structures and local politicians. 

Mental Health

This is a serious presenting issue, for the UN youth Envoy and for the young people locally.  Links were made between young people living in poverty and under pressures, and their experiences of mental health.  The pressures on young people and their access to mental health services has been exacerbated due to Covid-19.  Immediate investment is needed by governments to address these issues and give young people the support to recover from the educational and social isolation of the past year.  

Padlet. To see the details click here.

This is a snapshot of the discussion with the young people on 20th May 2021; with further discussions of the gendered nature of peace-building and conflict; the daily actions of bread-and-butter peace-building and the ‘silent pandemic of mental health’.  

To see more of the young people’s concerns, passions and actions, click here.

Youth, Peace & Security Leadership Series

This dialogue was part of the new seminar series entitled Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series explores the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.

The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), the Centre for Youth Research and Dialogue and Interpeace.

To review all posts about the series, click Categories, Events and “Youth Leadership Series” on right side bar.

Youth, Peace and Security Series

The Chair is delighted to be help organise and launch the new Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series will explore the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.

The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and Interpeace.

Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Launch

The Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series will be launched on 8 March 2021 with “The Missing Peace”, championing young people as positive contributors to peace, register here.

By way of background, 0n 9 December 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2250. The resolution is an important landmark for recognising the positive role young people can play in conflict and post-conflict settings. The UN Secretary-General commissioned Graeme Simpson to carry out a global study on youth and peacebuilding mandated by UNSCR 2250. The study was presented to the Security Council in April 2018 and to the UN General Assembly in September 2018. A key message of this report, and subsequent work, is to recognise and support young people as positive contributors to peace, moving away from a deficit model that sees young people as a threat to security.

Launch Programme

To launch the series Graeme Simpson will share his experience from working not the report and subsequent processes. Speakers will include:

  • Graeme Simpson, Lead Author UN Independent Youth, Peace and Security Progress Study: “The Missing Peace”
  • Professor Mo Hume, Professor of Latin American Politics, University of Glasgow
  • Paddy Harte, Chairman, International Fund for Ireland
  • Chair: Professor Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University

Register

RSVP essential to receive the live stream link which will be sent 48 hours before the seminar, so please register here.

Graeme Simpson is the Principal Representative (NY) & Senior Peacebuilding Adviser, Interpeace, a global peacebuilding organization working in 20 conflict and immediate post-conflict zones around the world. He was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the Lead Author of the Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security: The Missing Peace. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Law at Columbia University School of Law in New York City, where he teaches a seminar on transitional justice and peacebuilding. Graeme has an LLB and a master’s in History from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was co-founder and Executive Director (1995-2005) of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Johannesburg, SA.

Youth, Peace & Security Leadership Series

This dialogue was part of the new seminar series entitled Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series. The seminar series explores the positive contribution of youth to peace. Every 6-8 weeks, an online platform will be created for young leaders to share their experience from around the world.

The seminar series is a partnership between Ulster University (INCORE & TJI), The John and Pat Hume Foundation, John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, International Fund for Ireland (IFI), the Centre for Youth Research and Dialogue and Interpeace.

To review all posts about the series, click Categories, Events and “Youth Leadership Series” on right side bar.

Peace, Economics and Education

As part of the Donegal County Council Tip O’Neill Diaspora Awards, Ulster University hosted a morning session focusing on Peace, Economics and Education. The keynote speaker was Marty Meehan, former Congressman and now President of University of Massachusetts Lowell. The session was Chaired by Professor Hamber.

Tom O’Neill, Marty Meehan, Brandon Hamber, Adrian Johnson (IFI)

Ulster Welcomes £1m IFI Funding for Hume-O’Neill Chair In Peace

The University of Ulster has been awarded funding of £1m by the International Fund For Ireland (IFI) to support the establishment of a new peace studies Chair at its Magee campus in Londonderry.

To be known as the John Hume and Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace, the Chair will enhance the international profile of the University as a world leader in peace and conflict resolution studies.

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The Magee Campus, Ulster University

Over the past decade, Nobel Laureate Professor John Hume has been closely associated with the University, and his international stature has given Ulster unrivalled visibility in the international sphere.

The late Tip O’Neill was one of the ‘Four Horsemen’ group of Irish-American politicians who, influenced by John Hume’s peace-making strategies, helped create the conditions for Northern Ireland’s peace process.

A former Speaker of the House, his name has been associated with Magee in the past 10 years in a series of ‘Tip O’Neill Peace Lectures’ supported by the Ireland Funds and delivered by international statesmen and stateswomen at the personal invitation of Professor Hume.

Welcoming the IFI’s announcement, Ulster Vice-Chancellor Professor
said:

“This generous and far-sighted endowment from the International Fund for Ireland will enable us to move forward with this important academic initiative, and will sustain this enterprise far into the future.

“Building on the strong foundations laid by Nobel Laureate Professor John Hume over the past decade, we want to further develop our globally recognised work in the area of conflict transformation by establishing the John Hume and Tip O’Neill Professor of Peace, based at our Magee campus in Derry.”

Professor Barnett said that the establishment of the John Hume and Tip O’Neill Chair in Peace will:

  1. recognise the contribution of both John Hume and Tip O’Neill to conflict transformation and peacebuilding by recording and sharing the lessons learned and to continue the process of peace and reconciliation for future generations on the island of Ireland, the UK, and throughout the world
  2. act as a unifying focus for important University of Ulster peace and conflict-related initiatives including the work of the Institute for Conflict Research (INCORE), and other conflict-related institutes and centres at the University.
  3. combine rigorous research and teaching with practical and policy impacts;
  4. aid local community developments aimed at consolidating peace;
  5. enhance the profile of Ulster’s Magee campus and the city of Londonderry as a world-recognised centre of learning and academic excellence in the field of peace studies.

“The award of this funding marks the successful completion of the first stage of a major fundraising drive,” the Vice-Chancellor said.

“We are confident our development plans will be generously supported by friends of the University in honour of these two great international statesmen and their lasting legacy of peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.”

ENDS

Further Information

John Hume was formerly leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, former MP for Foyle and MEP for Northern Ireland. He received the Nobel Peace prize in 1998 (along with Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble) for his contribution to peace in Northern Ireland. John Hume is now an Honorary Professor at the University of Ulster.

The late Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill was one of the foremost Irish-American Democratic politicians of his generation, who rose to become Speaker of the House. His deep interest in Northern Ireland led to his partnership with John Hume in the drive for peace. Speaker O’Neill was also instrumental in the creation of the IFI. He died in 1994.