Statement by Anna Evstigneeva, Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at the “Arria-formula” VTC of UNSC members «Implementation of SC resolutions on Youth, Peace and Security by UN Peace Operations»
At the outset, I would like to thank USG Rosemary DiCarlo, USG Jean-Pierre Lacroix for their briefings. We are also grateful to briefers from the UN missions for their perspectives from the field as well as representatives of civil society organizations.
We recognize the importance of meaningful and constructive participation of youth in efforts aimed at maintenance and promotion of peace and security in armed conflict and post-conflict situations.
At the same time involvement of youth in any such sensitive activity should be based, first and foremost, on their professional knowledge and skills. Moreover, we believe that there is a necessity to protect young people from any political activities until they reach legal age.
Promotion of positive image of youth should not overshadow real challenges that we have to address. Young people are especially vulnerable to radical ideologies. That is why it is our collective task to strengthen international cooperation in protection of youth from such influence, to cut off channels through which terrorist groups incite young people and combat the use of Internet for recruitment. These elements should be also central in Youth, Peace and Security agenda.
Peacekeeping and special political missions have their role to play in the UN comprehensive effort to implement relevant SC resolutions on youth in accordance with their respective mandates. Our briefers today have proved that a country-specific approach is needed and historical, cultural, ethnical features of situations as well as specific needs of youth should be taken into account.
Particularly, as we heard today from Ms. Minochkina, UNMIK Youth Strategy is aimed at trust-building between different communities and youth ethnic groups. It should help young people overcome consequences of armed conflict. We consider it a crucial task relevant for the current problems in the region.
Unfortunately the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence became an insurmountable obstacle for resolving the status issue in accordance with 1244 UNSC resolution. It definitely hampers interethnic reconciliation, particularly among youth. Educational programs, which unjustifiably place the responsibility for the tragic events of the 1990s solely on Serbs, contribute to these interethnic tensions. Dire socio-economic situation in the region leads to a constant outflow of the most gifted young people abroad.
In such circumstances it is vital for UNMIK, in accordance with SC resolution 1244 and relevant SC resolutions on youth, peace and security, to continue actively engage in strengthening contacts among young people, provide them with necessary support in a (what is most important) balanced and non-politicized manner.
In this regard, our question is to Ms. Iana Minochkina. Are you doing this entire job in the mission alone? Do you have appropriate financial and human resources to fulfill all planned projects? As we know, recently, the General Assembly approved new mandate on «Quick Impact Projects» (QIPs) for UNMIK. Could any of youth-oriented projects be implemented in the framework of QIPs? If so, we would be glad to consider your proposals on this in accordance with established procedures.