Security Council Distr.: General 14 July 2020
Resolution 2535 (2020)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 8748th meeting, on 14 July 2020
The Security Council, Reaffirming its commitment to the full implementation of resolution 2250 (2015) and 2419 (2018) and its Presidential Statement of 12 December 2019 (S/PRST/2019/15), Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015), 2467 (2019) and 2493 (2019) on Women, Peace and Security and all relevant Statements of its President, Recalling further its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Recalling its resolutions 1645 (2005), 2282 (2016) and 2413 (2018) on the peacebuilding architecture and the Statements of its President on Post-Conflict Peacebuilding S/PRST/2012/29 and S/PRST/2015/2 and on peacebuilding and sustaining peace S/PRST/2016/12, Recalling also its resolutions on Countering Terrorism including 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014), 2354 (2017), 2395 (2017), 2396 (2017), 2462 (2019) and 2482 (2019) and the Statement of its President S/PRST/2015/11, S/PRST/2020/5, Reaffirming the importance of promoting the United Nations’ ability to deliver on its founding determination to save and support succeeding generations against the scourge of war and putting emphasis on preventive diplomacy, mediation and good offices, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and sustaining peace, Reaffirming the important and positive contribution youth can make to the efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, prevention and resolution of conflicts and as a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peace building efforts, Recognizing that today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known and that young people often form the majority of the population of countries affected by armed conflict, Noting that the term youth is defined in the context of this resolution as persons of the age of 18–29 years old, and further noting the variations of definition of the term that may exist on the national and international levels, including the definition of youth in the General Assembly Resolutions A/RES/50/81 and A/RES/56/117,
Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter for the maintenance of international peace and security, Expressing concern that among civilians, youth account for many of those adversely affected by armed conflict, including as refugees and internally displaced persons, and that the disruption of youth’s access to quality education and economic opportunities has a dramatic impact on durable peace and reconciliation, Recognizing that youth should actively be engaged in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation, and that a large youth population presents a unique demographic dividend that can contribute to lasting peace and economic prosperity if inclusive policies are in place, Recognizing that the protection of all youth, particularly young women, refugees and internally displaced youth in armed conflict and post-conflict and their participation in peace processes can significantly contribute to the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security, and should be an important component of any comprehensive strategy to resolve conflict and build peace, Emphasizing the importance of a comprehensive approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, particularly through the prevention of conflict and addressing its root causes at all stages of conflict, Reaffirming the primary responsibility of national governments and authorities in identifying, driving and directing priorities, strategies and activities for peacebuilding and sustaining peace and that inclusivity, including by ensuring full, effective and meaningful participation of youth without discrimination of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, disability, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status is key to advancing peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account, Reiterating the important role youth can play as agents of change in countering terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, Recognizing that core challenges still remain, including structural barriers that limit the participation and capacity of young people, especially young women, to influence decision making, violations of their human rights, and insufficient investment in facilitating inclusion, particularly through quality education, Recognizing the significance of the fifth anniversary of resolution 2250 (2015), the twentieth anniversary of resolution 1325 (2000),the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture, the launch of the Decade of Action and delivery for Sustainable Development, the 25th anniversary of the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the seventy fifth anniversary of the United Nations, and the 5th anniversary since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals offering a prime opportunity to highlight the invaluable role of young people and to amplify their voices and perspectives in shaping the world and its future, Acknowledging the on-going work of national governments and regional and international organisations to engage youth in building and maintaining peace, Recognizing the importance of civil society, including community-based civil society, youth, women, peacebuilders, and where relevant the private sector, academia, think tanks, media, and cultural, educational, and religious leaders in peace building efforts and sustaining peace, including by increasing awareness about threats of terrorism and more effectively tackling them, Taking note with appreciation of the United Nations Youth 2030 Strategy of the Secretary-General which provides a road map for the United Nations system, including a specific priority on peacebuilding and resilience-building, directly aligned with resolutions 2250 (2015) and 2419 (2018), Recognizing the challenges faced by youth, especially by young women, which put them at particular risk, including gender inequalities that perpetuate all forms of discrimination and violence and emphasizing that advancing gender equality and empowerment of women is critical for the full, equal and effective participation of women at all stages of peace processes given their vital role in the prevention and resolution of conflict and peacebuilding, reaffirming the key role women can play in re-establishing the fabric of recovering society and in the development and implementation of post-conflict strategies in order to take into account their perspectives and needs, Reaffirming the right to education and its contribution to the achievement of peace and security and further recognizing that investment in universal, and inclusive education and training is an important policy investment that States can make to ensure the immediate and long-term development of youth, and reiterating that access to inclusive, equitable and quality formal and non-formal education are important factors that enable youth to acquire the relevant skills and to build their capacities, Taking note of the first report of the Secretary-General of 2 March 2020 (S/2020/167) and its recommendations, and noting the independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, “The missing peace”, 1. Calls on all relevant actors, to consider ways to increase the inclusive representation of youth for the prevention and resolution of conflict, as well as in peacebuilding, including when negotiating and implementing peace agreements, and to ensure the full, effective and meaningful participation of youth, recognizing that their marginalization is detrimental to building sustainable peace; 2. Reaffirms states’ obligation to respect, promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, including youth, and ensure equal access to justice and preserve the integrity of rule of law institutions; and to foster an enabling and safe environment for youth working on peace and security, including by protecting civic and political space and condemning hate speech and incitement to violence; 3. Urges all parties to armed conflict to protect civilians, including those who are youth, and to comply strictly with their obligations under international law, inter alia under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977; 4. Further urges Member States to protect youth from violence in armed conflict, and urges all parties to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence as well as human trafficking; 5. Urges Member States to facilitate an inclusive, safe, enabling and genderresponsive environment in which youth actors, including youth from different backgrounds are recognized and provided with adequate support and protection to implement violence prevention activities and support social cohesion, and to carry out their work independently and without undue interference, including in situations of armed conflict, and to investigate thoroughly and impartially threats, harassment, and violence against them, to ensure that perpetrators be brought to justice; 6. Also calls upon Member States to comply with their respective obligations to end impunity and further calls on them to investigate and prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against civilians, including youth; 7. Stresses the importance of providing opportunities for young people to strengthen resilience against radicalization to violence and terrorist recruitment by creating policies for youth, while complying with relevant obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law and international humanitarian law as an essential part of successful counter-terrorism efforts; 8. Stresses the importance of creating policies for youth that would positively contribute to peacebuilding efforts, including social and economic development, supporting projects designed to grow local economies, and provide youth employment opportunities and vocational training, fostering their education, and promoting youth entrepreneurship and constructive political engagement; 9. Recognizes that digital spaces provide innovative participation opportunities for dialogue, accountability and transparency in decision-making, including in conflict-affected contexts and that, at the same time, inequalities with regards to access to technology remain widespread and Internet and social media can be used to spread disinformation and terrorist ideologies and threaten and attack young activists and expressing concern over the increased use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters of new information and communication technologies for terrorist purposes, and encourages Member States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law; 10. Recognizes that young people’s meaningful engagement in humanitarian planning and response is essential to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and that young people play a unique role in strengthening the national, local and community-based capacities in conflict and post-conflict situations to prepare for and respond to increasingly frequent and severe weather events and natural disasters, as well as to public health challenges that affect young people’s life and their future, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and in this regard, encourages member states to support and integrate youth into decision-making processes in these regards; 11. Calls on Member States to take appropriate measures to promote the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of young survivors of armed conflict, including those with disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence in conflict by providing, amongst others, access to quality education, socio-economic support and skills development such as vocational training, to resume social and economic life; 12. Calls upon Member States to protect educational institutions as spaces free from all forms of violence, and to ensure that they are accessible to all youth, including marginalized youth, and take steps to address young women’s equal enjoyment of their right to education; 13. Calls on Member states to take steps to encourage the meaningful participation of youth in the reconstruction of areas devastated by conflict, to bring help to refugees, internally displaced persons, and war victims and promote peace, reconciliation and rehabilitation; 14. Encourages Member States, regional and subregional organizations to develop and implement policies and programs for youth and to facilitate their constructive engagement, including through dedicated local, national and regional roadmaps on youth, peace and security, with sufficient resources, through a participatory process, in particular with young people and youth organizations and to pursue its implementation, including through the monitoring, evaluation and coordination with young people; 15. Welcomes the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission to advance the youth, peace and security agenda and its increased engagement in support of young peacebuilders and include in its discussions and advice, ways to engage youth meaningfully in national, regional and international efforts to build and sustain peace, while reaffirming its principle of national ownership and leadership in peacebuilding, and encourages the Peacebuilding Commission to continue to support the important peacebuilding role that young people play and the participation and views of youthled organization, in planning and stabilization efforts in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and to continue to bring its observations and advice to the attention of the Security Council, as appropriate; 16. Calls on Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations system, including peacekeeping and special political missions, to coordinate and increase their engagement in the implementation of resolutions 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018), and this resolution including through inclusive partnership with young people, and to ensure dedicated capacities with regard to youth, peace and security, and in this regard encourages the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth to promote coordination and coherence of youth, peace and security activities across the UN-system while tracking implementation of this resolution as well as resolutions 2250 and 2419; 17. Encourages Member States to consider increasing, as appropriate, funding for the implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda, including accessible resourcing for youth-led and youth-focused organizations; 18. Expresses its intention, where appropriate, to continue to invite civil society including youth-led organizations as well as young peacebuilders to brief the Council in country-specific considerations and relevant thematic areas and include interactive and inclusive meetings with local youth, youth-led organizations and young peacebuilders, in the field during Council missions; 19. Recognizes the role of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and her Office, and the work of relevant entities of the United Nations, Rapporteurs, Special Envoys, Representatives of the Secretary-General, and Resident Coordinators in the implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda, in line with the five pillars outlined by resolution 2250, which are participation, protection, prevention, disengagement and reintegration, and partnerships, including by ensuring that the essential role of young people in advancing peace and security is fully recognized and supported and encourages them to continue improving their coordination and interaction regarding the role and the needs of youth during armed conflicts and postconflict situations, including with regional organizations; 20. Requests the Secretary-General and his Special Envoys to include the views of youth in relevant discussions pertinent to the maintenance of peace and security, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and to facilitate the full, effective and meaningful participation of youth at all decision-making levels, paying particular attention to the inclusion of young women and without distinction or discrimination of any kind; 21. Requests the Secretary General to provide guidance for all peacekeeping and other relevant United Nations missions on the implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda and urges all peacekeeping and other relevant United Nations missions to develop and implement context-specific strategies on youth, peace and security, bearing in mind their respective mandates; 22. Requests the Secretary-General to develop a dedicated guidance on the protection of young people, including those who engage with the United Nations in the context of peace and security and as part of the new Common Agenda on Protection for the UN System; 23. Encourages the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations Entities, to develop internal mechanisms within the United Nations system to broaden the participation of youth, within the work of the United Nations and to redouble their efforts to improve capacity building and technical guidance and to integrate the youth, peace and security agenda in United Nations strategic and planning documents, conflict analyses, frameworks, initiatives and guidance tools, at the global, regional and national levels, including by appointing youth focal points, building on existing human resources, for the implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda within their respective mandates; 24. Requests the Secretary-General to include information and related recommendations on issues of relevance to young people, in the context of armed conflict, including on progress made towards participation of youth in peace processes, in thematic and geographic reports and regular briefings to the Council, as well as to include pertinent disaggregated data related to youth within existing mandates; 25. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that, within existing resources, capacities and expertise to engage young people and youth organizations in peacebuilding and sustaining peace at the local, national, regional and international levels and programmatic activities are in place for the accelerated implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda; 26. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a biennial report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution and of resolutions 2250 and 2419; 27. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.