Statement from Syrian Youth Assembly

For more than five years, the international community has failed in protecting the civilians in Syria by negotiating an end to the conflict and facilitating adequate humanitarian relief. 51.6% of Syrians are younger than 25. Education enrolment has fallen by 50%, employment opportunities are limited, and young people are particularly vulnerable to radicalism and sexual violence.

The importance of placing youth at the forefront of conflict resolution to rebuild civil society in a holistic manner and achieve sustainable, long-lasting peace is receiving increasing international recognition. In 2015, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2250, encouraging the inclusion of young people in all stages of peacebuilding and related decision-making processes

Until now, however, the specific needs of Syria’s youth have been largely disregarded in both humanitarian efforts and the Intra-Syrian Talks. This statement presents the vision of the Syrian Youth Coalition on the inclusion of youth representatives in the peace process, protecting youth from detention and torture, ending sexual slavery and exploitation, preventing the radicalization and recruitment of youth into extremist groups, and preparing youth for a peacebuilding role in post-conflict Syria.

The Syrian Youth Assembly proposes the following:

  1. The inclusion and meaningful participation of a representative group of Syrian youth, assisted by the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Youth and Peacebuilding, in the Intra-Syrian Talks,
  2. Greater attention be dedicated to education, employment and entrepreneurship,
  3. Further measures be taken to prevent sexual and gender-based violence,
  4. Greater emphasis be given to the prevention of torture under all circumstances,
  5. The provision of adequate medical and psychological assistance to youth,
  6. The constructive participation and leadership of Syrian youth in any post-war reconstruction efforts.

Unless the needs of young people are given adequate attention and resources and young people are structurally included in the peace and post-war reconstruction processes, a sustainable peace cannot be achieved. We call upon you to recognize this need by committing to the inclusion of youth representatives in the Intra-Syrian Talks.

This page is a summary of the full statement. Click here for the full text.