On 3-7 March, DPI carried out the latest in its series of youth engagement activities, this time a comparative study visit entitled ‘Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes’. A group of Turkish youth, aged 18-35, came from all strata of professional and political society from across Turkish society (including Ankara, İstanbul, Mardin, Diyarbakır and Zonguldak), including political party’s youth representatives, civil society workers, high school and university students, journalists and social workers.
The carefully planned programme was designed to further expose participants to cases of meaningful youth involvement in conflict resolution. Indeed, the trip began in London, at DPI’s office as we took a deeper look at United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 – which is the driving force behind increasing the participation of young people in peace processes. The group were subsequently hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As well as hearing about their burgeoning Youth, Peace and Security programme, DPI’s participants were given insightful introductions into the theme of devolution, particularly the Welsh case, which is something we would go into greater detail during the rest of the CSV. As the group moved to Cardiff, participants engaged in fruitful discussion on the history of power-sharing in Wales, including the importance of the Welsh language. Through a visit to the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales), participants were immersed in the modern traditions and practices of Welsh devolution as well as hearing about the recent formation of a youth parliament in Wales. Participants also visited the office of Urdd Gobaith Cyrmu, Wales’ largest youth organisation, to hear how young people in Wales are being engaged, through the Welsh language, in projects both within and outside Wales. This CSV gave participants the opportunity to engage in discussion with key actors in the Welsh devolution story – including civil servants, Assembly Members and civil society. By studying the Welsh case comparatively, DPI’s youth group focused on the role of young people in bringing about the power-sharing and language structures in place in Wales today as well as looking at the impact that UN SCR 2250 is having on the field of conflict resolution more generally.
The CSV forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”. Future activities include ongoing roundtable meetings and comparative study visits planned within Turkey and other parts of the world, including countries that have had peace processes.