The Missing Peace: Independent Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security

United Nations

Created 02/08/2021

Case Studies


Across the globe, there are extraordinary young people creatively seeking ways to prevent violence and consolidate peace. However, many are frustrated by the tendency of their Governments and international actors to treat youth as a problem to be solved, rather than as partners for peace.

Throughout the world, young people consulted for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security expressed that they have lost faith and trust in their Governments, the international community and systems of governance that they feel excluded from, contributing to a strong and ongoing sense of injustice.

This must be addressed in order to support and benefit from young people’s contributions to peace, and to realize the potential of 1.8 billion young people.

Setting the Stage for the Progress Study

In 2015, the Security Council adopted UNSCR 2250, the first resolution entirely dedicated to recognizing the importance of engaging young women and men in shaping and sustaining peace. UNSCR 2250 calls on Member States to include young people in their institutions and mechanisms to prevent violent conflict and to support the work already being performed by youth in peace and security. In addition, the Resolution requests the Secretary-General to “carry out a Progress Study on the youth’s positive contribution to peace processes and conflict resolution, in order to recommend effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels.”

Participatory Approach to the Progress Study

The Progress Study was conducted as an independent research process, led by Graeme Simpson and an Advisory Group of Experts, all appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. They were supported by the United Nations and numerous partners from civil society, foundations and intergovernmental organizations. A UNFPA and Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) Secretariat was put in place to support the Study. The Study was developed through a participatory approach that involved face-to-face consultations with a total of 4,230 young people, including 281 focus group discussions in 44 countries, as well as 7 regional and 6 national consultations. In addition, there were 25 country-focused studies, 20 thematic submissions from partners, 5 online thematic consultations, a global survey of youth-led civil society peacebuilding organizations, and mapping exercises of Member States’ and UN entities’ work focused on young people in relation to peace and security.

Extensive information on the research undertaken for the Progress Study is available at

Partners of the Progress Study

The Study was prepared with generous funding from the Governments of Canada, Ireland, Italy, Norway and Sweden, as well as from the programme budget of the United Nations, Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Important cost-sharing support was gratefully received from PeaceNexus Foundation, as well as from UNDP, UNHCR, UNV, UN-Women, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and numerous other UN and NGO partners.

The development of the Study was supported jointly by UNFPA and PBSO, in close partnership with the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

To read the full study, click here.

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