Remarks by Mr. Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland at the Ministerial Meeting to Reaffirm Commitment to Youth, Peace and Security Agenda

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland at the Ministerial Meeting to Reaffirm Commitment to Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. New York 21 September 2017.

Good morning. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Secretary-General, fellow Foreign Ministers as well as the distinguished representatives of youth, 

I am very, very delighted to be here with you today. It is always inspiring to hear from young people – and I think especially so in this context of peace and security. 

It is clear to all of us that peace cannot be achieved or sustained without the active participation of our youth. It is in the nature of young people to strive for a more stable and prosperous future and this is the positive energy we must capture to build peace. 

This central idea of seeing youth as a positive force towards peace was first brought forward by young people themselves, resulting in the end in UN Security Council Resolution 2250. The resolution will turn two years in December, and we are all here to celebrate this important milestone.

But we cannot rest self-assured and congratulate ourselves – there is more to be done. It is important that we now focus on effectively implementing the resolution. It is our responsibility that we, the decision-makers, support full participation of youth in political processes that aim to prevent conflict as well as build and sustain peace. One important aspect is to involve more youth in mediation processes. 

It is in this context I am glad to announce that I have nominated member of parliament Mrs. Jutta Urpilainen to be my Special Representative on mediation. In her work as Special Representative she will concentrate especially on women, youth and Africa. This is the trinity where I personally see many opportunities when trying to advance peace and stability in the world. The most cost-effective way to work for peace is to prevent conflicts, and Finland is very pleased that conflict prevention is now at the center of the Secretary-General's agenda. 

I am proud that Finland can today join others in the Group of Champions of Youth. We all want to see continued commitment to the implementation of the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. This also means we must allow young people to take center-stage and listen carefully to their ideas. 

Thank you.