Oct 21, 2011, 1:29 PM
Gambia and Finnish YMCA, yesterday held a conference on Youth, Peace and
Security, under the theme: Active Youth Participation in Peace and Security in
The day-long conference was part of YMCA’s fourth year “Work 4 Peace” project, under its youth, peace and security issues and irregular migration component that focus on re-integration and prevention.
Speaking at the event, Assan Jallow, representative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports said youth have been and continue to play significant role towards reforming national institutions, with a view to restore democratic governance and the respect for the rule of law.
He said Gambia government has ensured that youth are included in all the on-going transitional justice processes in recognition of their potential in the maintenance of peace and security in the country.
Mr. Jallow said more than 60 percent of Gambia’s population is young people who bear some of the most difficult burdens of the country’s political transition, in numerous ways.
Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources, James Gomez said youth are important in a country because they have strong values of tolerance and social cohesion. “They aspire to a life of dignity for all.”
He said youth hold enormous potential for change and positive action and they are unique resources that can develop innovative solutions for peace and development. “Through universal access to information and communication technologies, young people are often major drivers of political changes,” he said.
Priscilla H.D. Dunn, programme director of The Gambia YMCA, said the objectives of the conference was to promote youth participation and engagement by creating space for them where they can be recognized and provided with adequate support to implement violence prevention activities.
She said YMCA peace ambassadors will advocate peace and security issues within vulnerable youth communities in target areas, focusing especially on re-integration and prevention.
“Concerning reintegration and prevention of irregular migration, the YMCA youth, peace and security conference is tasking its participants to come up with ways in which they can prevent the marginalization of youth,” she said.