IIEP Policy Forum – Paris, 16-18 October 2012 

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Conflict transformation and peacebuilding

A refugee girl on her way to attend classes in Djabal camp in eastern Chad

A refugee girl on her way to attend classes in Djabal camp in eastern Chad. ©UNHCR / H. Caux

Efforts of various activists around the world have demonstrated the role of education as a peace dividend. Education can contribute to long lasting peace by addressing underlying inequities that fuel conflict, providing education and employment opportunities to disenfranchised youth, empowering adolescent girls and women as actors in the peace-building process and imparting civic and political education to foster democratic participation and decision-making. Recent research evidence shows youth serve as positive agents of change and key actors for social transformation in building stable and peaceful societies.

Despite this progress, there are examples where youth are still perceived as a challenge or a potential source of instability. Research conducted by Collier (2007) suggested that ‘youth bulges’ in a population may increase the risk of conflict. This research found that two of the three determinants that make people more likely to engage in political violence are being young and uneducated.

How can better youth engagement in educational planning and policy-making improve these perceptions and statistics? Join the current virtual debates and online discussions that fed into and directed the debates at our Policy Forum. Key recommendations emerging from both these virtual discussions and the event will be taken forward in a number of countries, so we encourage you to continue to speak up and make sure your voice is heard!

>> Download the Background Paper: Youth, Education, and Peacebuilding

We call on Member States to ensure a fair educational system, taking into consideration refugee children or children with migration backgrounds and creating opportunities that these children also succeed in school.’ – Recommendation 7th UNESCO Youth Forum (2011)

The second session of the Policy Forum was devoted to this stream.

To review the material presented during this session, please click on the various presentation documents below:

PowerPoint Icon
Presentatation by Mr Mark Hamilton, Professor, American University’s School of International Service (SIS)

Recommendations coming out of this session:

PPT IconPresentation by Ms Louise Haxthausen, Programme Coordinator Post-Conflict Post-Disaster, Section for Conflict and Post-Conflict Operations, UNESCO



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