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Soini: Young people's participation in peace processes to be ensured

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 20.4.2018 11.00
Press release

United Nations Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake will visit Finland from 25 to 27 April. On Thursday 26 April, she will attend a visit to Helsinki Senior High School together with Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini and the Foreign Minister’s Special Representative on Mediation Jutta Urpilainen.

"The Youth Envoy's school visit provides an excellent opportunity to show in a concrete way that one of Finland's important objectives in mediation is to ensure that young people are involved in peace processes. Lack of prospects for one's own future is the worst thing that can happen. It is essential that young people can exercise influence," Foreign Minister Timo Soini summarises the importance of the visit.

Finland was one of the initiators of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security. During Jayathma Wickramanayake's visit, we will present Finland's national measures relating to the implementation of the resolution, in which civil society organisations will play a significant role. Youth is also one of the priorities of Special Representative Urpilainen.

"I have found my visits to Finnish schools, which have focused on the prevention of violent radicalisation, very rewarding. We have much to learn from young people. This is an interesting opportunity to meet with young people and to tell them about mediation and their chances of influence," Soini says.

In her work, Youth Envoy Wickramanayake promotes measures helping youth voice their opinions and become engaged in society, and advocates issues that are important from young people's perspective worldwide. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Jayathma Wickramanayake of Sri Lanka as his Envoy on Youth in June 2017.

During her two-day stay in Finland, Wickramanayake will visit educational institutions, get familiar with youth work and learn about young people's opportunities of participation in Finnish society. The Youth Envoy will also meet CSO representatives to exchange ideas about matters related to young people, peace and security.

Inquiries: Riikka Taivassalo, Special Adviser to Foreign Minister Soini, tel. +358 46 923 4581, and Eero Väisänen, Attaché, Unit for UN and General Global Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 221

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format [email protected]

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