Youth, Peace and Security: Fostering local and global exchange

Brandon Hamber
4 min readNov 14, 2022

Written by Brandon Hamber and Eliz McCardle

In December 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250 a landmark resolution recognising young people’s positive role in conflict and post-conflict settings. The UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres commissioned a global study on youth and peacebuilding entitled The Missing Peaceauthored by Graeme Simpson, which was presented to the Security Council and then the UN General Assembly in 20181. The report calls for a move away from a deficit model that sees young people as a threat to security. A key message is the importance of recognising and supporting young people as positive contributors to peace. Building on this report, the UN has continued to promote a Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda.

As a contribution to the YPS agenda, the Ulster University authors of this article initiated the Youth, Peace and Security Leadership Series with partners The John and Pat Hume Foundation, the International Fund for Ireland (IFI), and the global peacebuilding organisation Interpeace. The main aim behind the series is to connect Northern Ireland youth work with the global YPS agenda. The specific objectives are to raise the visibility of the role that young people can and do play in peacebuilding and to build local capacities in terms of YPS and leadership.

Launched in March 2021, four public seminars have taken place so far, with 620 attendees across the events. The series has featured young leaders as speakers from Northern Ireland, Libya, Somalia, former Yugoslavia and Sri Lanka (seminars on YouTube). Graeme Simpson, author of the “The Missing Peace” Report, played a crucial role in identifying the international youth leaders who emerged during the report’s development.

Invitation to the second Youth, Peace and Security Seminar

Although the seminar turnout has been heartening, awareness-raising alone is limited as it requires those in positions of power to listen and take young people’s work seriously. For this reason, the seminar series has also utilised a capacity-building component using closed facilitated dialogue between youth workers and local and global peer leaders. The seminar series has effectively coupled the public online seminars with private dialogue sessions.

Brandon Hamber

Hume O'Neill Professor of Peace at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Medium is my popular writing space. Academic publications at