An estimated 60 percent of the world’s youth live in the Indo-Pacific — meaning the effective engagement and participation of youth in decision-making will be crucial for preventing violent conflicts in the region. Although regional bodies, such as ASEAN’s Regional Forum, have begun to acknowledge the importance of youth to peace and security, the development of national action plans based on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) will provide a roadmap for the implementation of these priorities at the country level, defining the objectives, activities and indicators that a country will use to promote peace in ways that are inclusive of youth.

On December 15, USIP held a discussion with leading experts that explores the current efforts to develop national action plans on YPS in Southeast Asia and identifies key lessons for implementing the YPS agenda in the region. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #SEAsiaYPS.


Theophilus Ekpon
Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa 

Bill Flens
Director of Multilateral Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State 

Brian Harding
Senior Expert, U.S. Institute of Peace

Jenni Kilpi
Junior Advisor, Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN

Vanessa Vianco S. Pallarco
Director for Social Healing and Peacebuilding, Department of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Philippines

Paula Porras
Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Saji Prelis
Co-Chair of the Global Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security

Karla Rodulfo 
Project Officer and Deputy Director, Youth, Peace and Security Division, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Mridul Upadhay, moderator
U.S. Institute of Peace Generation Change Fellow

Related Publications

Youth Leadership in Peacebuilding: A Catalyst for Advancing U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 16

Youth Leadership in Peacebuilding: A Catalyst for Advancing U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 16

Thursday, February 10, 2022

By: Gbenga Oni;   Paula Porras Reyes

When U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG 16) was adopted in 2015, it was envisioned as a framework for countries experiencing unrest to build peace and promote justice through strong institutions. Efforts have been made at different levels to make this goal a reality, but the outlook is not encouraging. The latest report from the U.N. found over 80 million people had fled war, persecution and conflict in 2020, the highest ever recorded. And every day, 100 people — including women and children — are killed in armed conflicts. With these grim figures and the end-of-decade deadline for SDG16 rapidly approaching, there should be a concerted effort to engage with youth leadership to help get SDG 16 back on track. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

YouthConflict Analysis & Prevention

How Mass Kidnappings of Students Hinder Nigeria’s Future

How Mass Kidnappings of Students Hinder Nigeria’s Future

Thursday, July 8, 2021

By: MaryAnne Iwara

This week’s latest mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolchildren underscores that the crumbling of human security in Africa’s most populous nation is worsening a deeper impairment, hollowing out Nigeria’s education system to create a “lost generation” of youth across much of the country. Alarmingly, one in five of the world’s out-of-school children is Nigerian. As Nigerian and international policymakers focus on the immediate crises—of kidnappings, Boko Haram’s extremist violence, and conflict between farming and herding communities—they must urgently rescue and buttress the country’s damaged education system. Reducing violence and achieving development in Africa will depend on an effective strategy for doing so.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human RightsYouth

Four Lessons I Learned from the Dalai Lama

Four Lessons I Learned from the Dalai Lama

Monday, April 5, 2021

By: Lorena Gómez Ramírez

In October 2019, I visited Dharamsala, a small town in northwestern India where the Dalai Lama and other Tibetans have made their home. I consider myself blessed not only to have eaten momos, grilled vegetables, bananas and bread with the Dalai Lama, but also for having shared those moments with 22 other youth leaders who came from countries like Syria, Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Somalia, among others. I met the Dalai Lama and other youth peacebuilders as part of the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Generation Change Fellows Program. Everything I heard from them and the Dalai Lama touched me in a profound way.

Type: Blog


View All Publications