Date: Monday 8 July 2019 afternoon
Acknowledge the following:
· Deputy County Commissioner, Kasarani, Mr. William Kaburu
· Korogocho Chief, Mr. Nyambuto
· Administrators and security officers present
· National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) team represented by Assistant Director - Civic Education and Advocacy, Mr. Kilian Nyambu
· Youth present drawn from various Nairobi informal settlements such as Korogocho, Kibera, Dandora, Mathare, Huruma, Kariobangi, Lucky Summer, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware, Kangemi, among others.
· Youth organisations represented such as Vijana Bila Ukabila peace initiative; Amani Kibera; Integrated Intiatives Community Empowerment; Dandora Network Forum; United Religions Initiative - Africa (URI-Africa); One Nation Under God, to name a few.
· All protocols observed.
· First let me apologize that our Regional Director for Africa, Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa who was supposed to be here with us could not make it due to a last minute technical problem with her flight.
· It is so good to be here in Korogocho, on my first field visit since my arrival to Kenya as UNDP Resident Representative in June 2019. Excited to be with the youth today, who are close to my heart and who hold a valuable key to maintaining peace and order in their communities
· Let me also acknowledge that Korogocho chief, Mr. Nyambuto worked with us in UNDP as a UN Volunteer on a programme to address the unfortunate 2007 Kenyan post-election violence; and I am so pleased to see his continued commitment to work on peacebuilding issues and helping the most vulnerable communities here in Korogocho.
· Let me thank NCIC for their close partnership with us and for working tirelessly to train the youth present here today on promotion of non-violent mechanisms to conflict resolution, through this UNDP-NCIC partnership.
UN and the Youth at the Global level
· Youth are central to the work of the UN and it is for this reason that the UN Security Council adopted Resolutions that provide frameworks for youth engagement, particularly, UNSCR 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security; and UNSCR 2419 on increasing the role of youth in negotiating and implementing peace agreements.
· The UN Secretary General himself, who will be visiting Kenya this week, is committed to “A world in which the human rights of every young person are realized; a world that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve their full potential; and that recognizes young people’s agency, resilience and their positive contributions as agents of change”. To achieve this, the UN has developed a Youth 2030 strategy that focuses on the following priority areas:
1. Engagement, Participation and Advocacy - Amplify youth voices for the promotion of a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
2. Informed and Healthy Foundations - Support young people’s greater access to quality education and health services.
3. Economic Empowerment through Decent Work - Support young people’s greater access to decent work and productive employment.
4. Youth and Human Rights - Protect and promote the rights of young people and support their civic and political engagement.
5. Peace and Resilience Building - Support young people as catalysts for Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action. This entails promoting an enabling environment; Promoting youth participation in formal peace processes; Promoting safe public spaces by ensuring youth have physical areas to gather, such as this facility, Korogocho Community Hall; Convening and buttressing partnerships; Fostering continuous dialogue that is inclusive, representative, democratic and consultative; Reinforcing capacity of youth-led organizations involved in peace and security action; Expanding opportunities through creating spaces for young people to contribute to the promotion of a culture of peace through participation in inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue to prevent conflicts. Creating and promoting opportunities for young people to use their skills and networks to develop and foster counter-narratives to messages of violence, extremism and radicalization.
At the regional level, the African Union (AU) has developed several youth development policies and programmes at continental level aimed at ensuring Africa benefits from its demographic dividend. The policies include the African Youth Charter, Youth Decade Plan of Action, and the Malabo Decision on Youth Empowerment, all of which are implemented through various AU Agenda 2063 programmes.
UNDP-Youth focus and programming
· At UNDP, there is a Youth Global Programme for Sustainable Development and Peace: 2016-2020. The programme’s multi-dimensional approach focuses on four interdependent thematic areas of work where UNDP has developed an expertise on:
1. Civic engagement and political participation
2. Peacebuilding and resilience-building
3. Economic empowerment
4. Youth as partners in the 2030 Agenda implementation and monitoring
· UNDP does this through offering:
• Technical, policy and programming support
• Financial support / seed funding
• Inclusive partnerships, coalitions and networks
• Knowledge generation and exchange
• Advocacy, research and data
• Capacity development
• Youth and gender mainstreaming
UN and Government of Kenya partnership
o The UN through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF):2018-2022 is supporting the Government of Kenya to achieve its development goals of the Big Four Development Agenda (on manufacturing, food security and nutrition, universal health coverage and housing), Medium Term Plan III, and Vision 2030. This is achieved through interlinked and complimentary programmes focusing on (i) Transformative governance, (ii) Inclusive and sustainable growth; (iii) Equitable social and human capital development.
o At UNDP, this is further anchored in the Country Programme Document (2018-2022) which places special emphasis on inclusion and engagement of youth on transformative governance and peacebuilding.
UNDP and NCIC partnership
o UNDP Kenya, together with the Government of Kenya, through the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), have partnered to implement the “Deepening Foundations for Peacebuilding and Community Security in Kenya” project, during the period 2014-2018. As it’s title indicates, the project aimed at deepening structures for peace building, cohesion and community security.
o Among the key interventions supported by the programme were youth-led peace initiatives, such as organizing sports tournaments, support to the scout’s movement, Amani (peace) Clubs, theatre, arts, drama, music festivals, peace caravans, community cultural festivals and social media engagement that have raised public awareness on diversity, inclusivity and non-violence.
o The programme has also fostered collaboration with youth organizations in rural and urban areas, including informal settlements, which has increased youth participation in peacebuilding efforts. Engagement with University students through the Universities and College Students Peace Association of Kenya (UCSPAK) contributed to election monitoring, community sensitization, thematic research on the role of youth in peacebuilding which has analyzed the impact of criminal gangs on cohesion, and factors contributing to radicalization and violent extremism.
o The programmatic work has laid a strong foundation where young people have become champions for peaceful co-existence; are promoting dialogue and can stand against incitement to violence; build grassroots structures that enhance national cohesion and integration through community peace champions and have become change agents. Some of the champions represented here are Vijana Bila Ukabila peace initiative; Amani Kibera; Integrated Intiatives Community Empowerment; Dandora Network Forum; United Religions Initiative - Africa (URI-Africa); One Nation Under God, among others.
o Central to our programming is promotion and inclusion of vulnerable groups and constituencies such as youth, disabled, women, among others, who have been marginalized over time. We are committed to ensuring youth and gendered dimensions to peacebuilding and conflict prevention are incorporated and ensuring no one is left behind in achieving the development priorities for Kenya.
o This programme has greatly contributed to the UN Secretary General Vision on prevention and sustaining peace, as well as the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, our work contributes to SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, especially targets and indicators that focus on reducing all forms of violence, ending abuse, exploitation; promoting the rule of law; reducing illicit arms flow; ensuring responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making; strengthening capacity to prevent violence, combat terrorism and crime.
o Now as I pause to listen to you, I would like to encourage you to be candid in sharing your experiences:
· in the promotion of peaceful co-existence in informal settlements.
· How young people can contribute towards nurturing tolerance and cohesion among communities living in informal settlements.
· How to safeguard young people against involvement in political and ethnic incitement.
· Experiences on youth engagement in the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE), particularly in the informal settlements.
· Lessons learned, best practices and opportunities on peacebuilding, PVE and youth empowerment.
I look forward to fruitful discussions, further engagement and collaboration on issues of peace, cohesion, PVE and community security.
Asanteni sana and God bless Kenya!