Joint statement on promoting the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda at the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum

The 28th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, held on August 6, 2021, via videoconference under Brunei Darussalam’s 2021 ASEAN Chairmanship;

RECALLING UN Security Council Resolutions 2250 (2015), 2282 (2016), 2419 (2018), 2535 (2020) and 2558 (2020); and the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security; NOTING the World Programme of Action for Youth; the Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding; the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals; the Colombo Declaration on Youth (2014); the August 2015 Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security; the Amman Declaration on Youth, Peace and Security; the September 2015 Global Youth Summit Against Violent Extremism; the Action Agenda to Prevent Violent Extremism and Promote Peace; and the UN’s Youth2030 Strategy;

CONCERNED by the increasing threats to regional and international stability and prosperity, as well as the threats to human rights posed by, inter alia, armed conflict, violence in armed conflict, terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism (VECT) and the increasing numbers of displaced persons;

FURTHER CONCERNED that youths, particularly young women, account for many of those adversely affected by the above-mentioned threats and that the disruption of youth’s access to education and economic opportunities has a dramatic impact on regional stability and prosperity and on durable peace and reconciliation;

UNDERSTANDING that peace and security are essential in achieving stability and prosperity, as well as physical, mental, economic and social well-being and sustainable development, and in creating an environment that is conducive to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

EMPHASIZING the importance of preventing radicalization to violence and VECT among youth, as well as preventing the participation of youth in transnational organized crime as a way to preserve stability and development and ensure progress in peacebuilding and stabilization efforts;

EMPHASIZING the importance of a comprehensive and inclusive approach to the peaceful settlement of disputes and sustaining of peace, particularly through the prevention of armed conflict, strengthening of the rule of law and promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, poverty eradication, social development, sustainable development, national reconciliation and unity, including through inclusive dialogue and mediation, access to justice, accountability, good governance and gender equality, while promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;

RECOGNIZING that the scale and nature of the challenge of sustaining peace calls for close strategic, innovative and operational partnerships between the UN, national governments and other key stakeholders, including international, regional and sub-regional organizations, international financial institutions, civil society organizations, women’s groups, youth organizations and the private sector, taking into account local and cultural contexts and national priorities and policies;

FURTHER RECOGNIZING the important and positive contributions youth can make to efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security; and UNDERSCORING youth’s full, effective and meaningful participation, empowerment, engagement and involvement in the prevention, mitigation and resolution of conflicts as a key aspect of the sustainability, inclusiveness and success of peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts and in shaping lasting peace and contributing to justice and reconciliation;

STRESSING the importance of investing in, and working with, youth, including those most vulnerable, to build peaceful and inclusive societies, in which youth can capitalize on educational and economic opportunities and develop a sense of belonging and purpose, as well as direction in their lives, in order to strengthen their resilience against peace and security challenges;

CONCERNED by the increased use of new and emerging information and communications technologies (ICTs) and platforms by terrorists and their supporters who target youth for the purposes of recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts, as well as for the financing, planning and preparation of their activities;

REAFFIRMING the importance of strengthening cooperation at community, national, regional and international levels to prevent terrorists from exploiting ICTs and resources to incite support for terrorist acts while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law;

RECOGNIZING the challenges faced by youth, including political, economic and social inequalities, which can perpetuate all forms of discrimination and violence, and that persistent inequalities put youth at particular risk; and REAFFIRMING the commitment toward the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the promotion of a life of dignity for all;

NOTING the regional commitments to the Youth, Peace and Security agenda as expressed in the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Elimination of Violence Against Children in ASEAN (2013); the Ha Noi Declaration on the Enhancement of Welfare and Development of ASEAN Women and Children (2010); the ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society (2017); the ASEAN Youth Declaration on Peace and Tolerance (2018); the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (2018-2025); the ASEAN Declaration on the Rights of Children in the Context of Migration (2019); the Declaration on the Protection of Children from all Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN (2019); and the Joint Statement on Reaffirmation of Commitment to Advancing The Rights of The Child in ASEAN (2019); and BUILDING ON the Joint Statement on Promoting the Women, Peace And Security Agenda at the ASEAN Regional Forum (2019); the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism (2019) and the ARF Statement on the Treatment of Children Recruited by or Associated with Terrorist Groups (2020);


  1. CONSIDER ways to increase the inclusive representation of youth, including youth-led organizations, in the prevention and resolution of conflict, as well as in peacebuilding and sustaining peace, taking into account the views of youth, including when negotiating and implementing peace and ceasefire agreements, recognizing youth as important change makers and essential partners and recognizing inclusivity as a key to advancing national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account and recognizing that the marginalization of youth is detrimental to building sustainable peace;
  2. RAISE awareness of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda among policy-makers, as well as the general public, and encouraging inter-governmental negotiations and discussions, where appropriate, with the participation of civil society, including youth-led organizations, on issues of critical importance to the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in order to share policy experiences, lessons learned and best practices and identify ways of cooperation;
  3. ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT youth in developing and participating in international, regional, sub-regional, national and local networks to develop partnerships to build inclusive communities and promote a culture of peace, tolerance and intercultural and interreligious dialogue involving youth, including through civic engagement and volunteerism;
  4. PROMOTE media and information literacy among youth to enhance digital and critical thinking skills and encourage effective measures and initiatives that help address hate speech, disinformation and terrorism and VECT, including online, with the involvement of youth in the planning, development and implementation stages, in conformity with relevant international and domestic laws as part of a wider approach to peacebuilding and sustaining peace;
  5. BUILD the capacity and skills of young men and women, with the cooperation of relevant stakeholders, including in the private sector, to ensure their full, effective and meaningful participation in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacebuilding and sustaining peace;
  6. PROMOTE policies for, and with the involvement of, youth that positively and meaningfully contribute to conflict prevention, the peaceful settlement of disputes, peacebuilding and sustaining peace, including through social and economic development, by supporting projects designed to grow local and sustainable economies, by promoting gender equality, tolerance, respect for diversity of, inter alia, different cultures, languages and religions and intercultural awareness and by providing youth with opportunities for personal development, including through education and vocational training, generating employment, encouraging entrepreneurship, as well as the exercise of leadership and promotion of political engagement, where appropriate;
  7. TAKE appropriate measures to promote the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of young survivors of armed conflict, including those with disabilities, and of survivors of all forms of violence, sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated in armed conflict situations, as well as of youth affected by displacement, by providing, among others, access to quality health care and education, psychological support, socio-economic support and skills development, such as vocational training, to resume social and economic life;
  8. LEVERAGE ASEAN-led mechanisms and entities, including the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, external partners and other international and regional organizations, as well as UN mechanisms, to support the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda; and
  9. TASK the ARF Experts and Eminent Persons to provide recommendations regarding the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security agenda in relevant ARF work plans, programs and processes, including through, where relevant, intersessional meetings, workshops and other activities, as well as engaging and collaborating with youth, including youth-led organizations, to understand their particular needs and challenges.

Adopted on the sixth of August in the year two thousand and twenty-one (2021), on the occasion of the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum.

Statement ends

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