Eight out of ten Somalis are younger than 35 years old, comprising more than 70% of the Somali population. Young Somali women and men play a crucial role in their country’s peacebuilding and state-building processes but are often excluded from opportunities and meaningful participation.
Supporting the meaningful participation of young people in reconciliation efforts, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and elections, is a core part of the UNSOM mandate, as well as the UN Security Council Resolutions 2250, 2419 and 2535 on Youth, Peace and Security. The UN in Somalia, through its Youth Strategy, has unified its efforts to work with and for young people throughout all political and programmatic efforts.
Through the strategy, all members of the UN family play a role to enhance the role of young people through six thematic priorities:
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Protection of Rights and Civic Engagement
- Political Inclusion
- Education and Skills Development
Through the Inter-Agency Youth Working Group, UNSOM coordinates an integrated youth response in Somalia, by facilitating joint situation and problem analysis; providing the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States with technical advice on youth-sensitive and youth-inclusive policies and programmes; facilitating engagement with and support to youth serving and youth-led civil society organizations; and creating and sustaining spaces for meaningful youth participation. To ensure the continuous input from young people in the work of the UN in Somalia, UNSOM has appointed a UN Youth Advisory Board.
By ensuring that young people’s rights and needs are at the heart of all the UN’s efforts, UNSOM aims to maximize coverage and impact, create space and equip youth with the necessary tools to play a positive and decisive role in bringing peace, social and economic prosperity to Somalia.