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Knowledge Creation

One of our key priorities is the creation and dissemination of evidence-based knowledge on Youth, Peace and Security. We support and encourage our members to contribute to peer-reviewed journals, books, and in other fora to raise awareness on the YPS agenda and gain credibility as the experts they are in the space.

[Forthcoming] CNAP3: Where are young people? Opportunities to lead on Youth, Peace & Security

Katrina Leclerc & Shayne Wong, CCYPS

In 2022, civil society leaders including members of the Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace & Security (CCYPS) engaged in the consultative WPS Dialogues FPS process and expressed collective concern over the exclusion of certain communities from the two previous CNAPs. Notably, the omission of young women and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) in the previous action plans was a lamentable missed opportunity for Canada to demonstrate leadership on WPS. This was documented by the WPSN-C through its leadership in the WPS Dialogues FPS process, in the “Civil Society Voices” report, citing that “CNAP3 provides an opportunity to strengthen and build on the WPS and [YPS] synergies. One Dialogue participant stated, ‘In many contexts, the youth concept is missing. Women go from girlhood to adulthood, and we need to call out to young women inside the plan.’ To ensure the sustainability of the WPS agenda, several civil society members mentioned that the voices of young people are essential, and investment is required to facilitate the inclusion of youth and their ability to meaningfully participate and influence decision-making.”


Thus, attention was raised by the CCYPS throughout the consultative process. With the launch of the “Foundations for Peace,” youth experts scrutinized the action plan with the hope that such consideration had been integrated into the policy. In a welcoming statement, the CCYPS affirms its positive impression of the plan that mentions ‘youth’ fifteen times, ‘young women’ ten times, and the YPS resolutions three times throughout the 50-page document. This demonstrates, quantitatively, substantive consideration of youth perspectives and commitments to the synergy between the WPS and YPS frameworks.

Youth at the Table: How WPS and Youth, Peace and Security Benefit Canadians

Katrina Leclerc and Shayne Wong, CCYPS

Recognition of the specific needs and experiences of young people in contexts of peace and conflict has increased worldwide, including in Canada. Through the efforts of networks, such as the Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace & Security (CCYPS), there has been heightened awareness and a growing attempt to include the voices, perspectives and needs of young people in peace and security matters. The increasing recognition of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality – first coined as the intersection of compounding discrimination and lived experiences between race and gender – has made a space for additional recognition of women’s experiences with different identity factors. The Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) tool has also highlighted the compounding realities of age, sexual orientation and ability, to name a few. In this piece, we argue that the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) policy framework must consider an intersectional approach, particularly to ensure that young Canadian women are not sidelined or forgotten in national policymaking. We argue the WPS agenda is, in fact, stronger when it considers the synergies it shares with the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) resolutions. 

“Women and Youth”: Creating Real Space for Young Women in Canada’s Implementation of the WPS agenda

Alexandria Bohémier & Shayne Wong, CCYPS

A young woman is both young and a woman at the same time which is why there is significant synergy between the Women Peace and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda. Because of this nexus, Canada’s National Action Plan (CNAP) is relevant to Youth, Peace and YPS actors, specifically young women, because they are impacted by the implementation of both agendas simultaneously. The 20192020 Progress Report demonstrates a dedicated and vast approach by the government to further the implementation of the WPS agenda. However, the report also highlights that there is a great deal of work that still needs to be done to ensure the WPS agenda is implemented domestically and globally in a full and meaningful way. In order to do this, the approach to the agenda must be from an intersectional perspective to ensure no one is left behind. 

Leaders of today: Building Strong Synergies Between Youth, Peace and Security & the Women, Peace and Security Agendas

Katrina Leclerc & Shayne Wong, CCYPS

In this third-year review of Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS (CNAP), we stress the need to recognize and mainstream Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) in the overall implementation, through key synergies between YPS (especially as stated in UN Security Council Resolution 2535) and WPS, programming, funding, and monitoring.

North America needs Youth, Peace and Security: young people shifting tides for positive peace

Katrina Leclerc, Saint-Paul University and Shayne Wong, University of Manitoba

The United Nations' Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda ensures and demands the protection and recognition of young people's roles in peace and security. This article focuses on why domestic YPS implementation is needed with the rise of social justice activism by young people in North America.

The rise of youth activism and youth leadership in social justice movements has given a space for the global political agenda to challenge traditional approaches to "peace and security" frameworks. This includes challenging pre-conceived notions of YPS - and its policy frameworks - as a 'foreign' agenda by North American and other Western countries. We argue that this global shift in youth social justice activism demonstrates the need for critical domestic implementation and policy priorities for the YPS agenda within traditional donor- or Western- States, using Canada and the United States as case studies.

Instrumentalizing the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda for Meaningful Impact and Growth

Katrina Leclerc, Saint-Paul University

Since world leaders officially recognized young people’s agency and leadership in conflict prevention and recovery in December 2015, the United Nations and its Member States have been grappling with the challenges of implementing the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) agenda at national and local levels. This chapter offers a discussion on how to instrumentalize the YPS agenda, while galvanizing youth activism and commitments of policymakers, to advance a meaningfully impactful agenda. It argues that by focusing on everyday local peacebuilders, operationalizing YPS at a country-level is possible through genuine collaboration and willingness for growth. This alternative approach to the traditionally policy-oriented discourse uses “everyday peace” and “local-turn” in peacebuilding theories to argue for the advancement of the YPS agenda, focusing on UNSCR 2535 as its primary tool for doing so.

Reciprocal institutional visibility: Youth, peace and security and ‘inclusive’ agendas at the United Nations

Helen Berents, Queensland University of Technology and Caitlin Mollica,  University of Newcastle

Within the architecture of the United Nations (UN), formal recognition of the contributions of historically marginalised individuals and communities to peacebuilding denotes a positive shift in rhetoric and practice. Alongside broader institutional moves towards ‘sustaining peace’; the emergence of a ‘Youth, Peace and Security’ agenda since 2015 formalises attention to youth as positive contributors to peacebuilding and in responding to violence. This article situates the Youth, Peace and Security agenda within broader institutional and academic attention on ‘inclusive peace’. It considers the ongoing challenges in legitimising youth inclusion; and positions this emergent agenda in relation to the gains made by the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and the establishment of the UN’s sustaining peace agenda. These explorations demonstrate the value of considering the evolution of inclusive peace agendas together, while remaining mindful of their distinctive characteristics, to better understand the potential of inclusive approaches to peace. It argues that the Youth, Peace and Security agenda should be understood as a key element of shifts in UN peacebuilding practice towards inclusivity that enable visibility and legitimacy to a broader range of peace actors. We suggest that greater recognition of the contributions of youth to the broader ‘inclusive and sustaining peace’ mandates is needed.

More than tokens: Canadian women in Decision-making Processes in the post-1995 Beijing Platform for Action era

Katrina Leclerc, Saint-Paul University

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action set the scene for women’s human rights frameworks as of 1995. To this day, it remains the most widely recognized and forward-looking framework for the advancement of women. In 2020 and 2021, the international community, civil society, governments, and multilateral actors gathered to recognize the 25th anniversary of the Declaration and galvanize commitments for its critical action areas.

This chapter addresses two primary action areas outlined in the Beijing Platform: women in power and decision-making; and institutional mechanisms. In doing so, it argues that the domestic implementation of both Women, Peace and Security; and Youth, Peace and Security agendas are necessary for the sustained achievement of these action areas in the Canadian context. It showcases women and young women’s movements in peace and security as central to the Beijing Platform’s commitments and successful implementation.

The synergies between both peace and security agendas complement the Beijing Platform and identify relevant domestic priorities mostly unrecognized by the Canadian government and its policies. The chapter argues that the sub-themes of tokenization, political participation, and women in policy development play crucial roles in demonstrating modern realities for women’s rights including the limitations for their attainment. Overall, this chapter demonstrates that Canada must prioritize women’s decision-making to ensure a domestic implementation of the Beijing Plan for Action, using the peace and security frameworks as tools for strengthened institutional accountability and implementation.

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