UN-Habitat Celebrates Youth, Peace and Sustainability

UN-Habitat, the UN programme for sustainable urban development, is celebrating youth, peace and sustainability leading up to the International  Day of Peace on 21 September.

The goal of this celebration is to raise the awareness of the general public about the vital role of young men and women in peace building.

According to UNDP, more than 600 million young people live in fragile and conflict-affected regions and countries. But beyond their status as victims, the International Day of Peace, with the theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All,” aims to recognize the role young people play as agents for peace.

“Today, thousands of young women and men work tirelessly, often under very dangerous conditions and with very little support or recognition, to build peace and promote security for all…[Young people} are the most valuable force: we have to shape a better future,”said Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

This celebration will consist of a number of on and offline events culminating in the International Peace Day Celebration at the United Nations compound in Nairobi, Kenya. The event on 21 September will bring together dignitaries and youth to celebrate and advocate for youth and peace globally.

The online events will highlight evidence-based promising practices in youth peace building –  such as the Colombia Urban Peace Labs initiative –  and peace building projects and activities in gender, governance and sports.

“As youth we should keep on engaging in developing our communities by using whatever resources we get either from the government or through our organizations. Our unity and idea’s are what we have for now and we don’t have to bleed so that they lead, but we can lead our generation to a better tomorrow,” said Isaac Mwasa, Coordinator One Stop Environmental Centre, Mathare, Kenya 

We encourage the media and public to join our online conversations to learn about innovative research and practices that show great promise in the field of youth peace building. Youth are called upon to air challenges affecting youth in urban places and contribute possible solutions to mitigate contributing negative factors.

The attached fact sheet provides a schedule for the IPM events and key hash tags throughout the month.

For more information about International Peace Day event, please visit: UN-Habitat Youth

To arrange feature interviews with project coordinators, contact:

Douglas Ragan, Chief, Youth and Livelihoods Unit, Email: douglas.ragan@unhabitat.org

Or Jeanette Elsworth, Head of Press and Media: jeanette.elsworth@unhabitat.org

International Peace Month Events:

Urban Peace Lab Training (28 Aug to 2 Sept , Cali, Colombia)

The ten youth groups selected will undergo a week long training undertaken by UN-Habitat, SENA, Ashoka and IMPACT HUB in the areas of small business development, social entrepreneurship, social innovation, peace building and programme management.


Awarding of the Urban Peace Labs recipients (29 Aug Colombia, Nairobi).The Urban Peace Labs initiative is a partnership between UN-Habitat and Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) with the goal of promoting peace and entrepreneurship amongst Colombian youth. Ten youth groups will be awarded grants to undertake social entrepreneurship projects that advance the goal of peace in Colombia.


Inclusive Cities Summit (29 – 30 Aug)
The Inclusive Cities Summit will bring together leaders to translate the New Urban Agenda into a Toronto and Canadian cities context. The Summit will examine how we can build better cities, and based on trends, a better world of the future through a New Urban Agenda and 2030 Agenda lens that also advances the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Innovate Counties Challenge (3 to 7 Sept )

The project seeks to establish ICT based mechanisms for democratic and inclusive participation at local level to enhance youth engagement in local governance in Kenyan small and medium sized cities. The project seeks to accomplish increased youth participation in decision-making processes at the local county government level and; Increase transparency and accountability of local county governments.

#InnovativeYouth4Peace     #IYP

Sports and Peace Building (8 – 12 Sept)

UN-Habitat is committed to continue using sports as a powerful tool for building culture of peace in conflict and post-conflict countries. Organized sport activities are regularly delivered to vulnerable and marginalized young people in the One Stop Youth Centers, unique model of community youth hubs set up to mobilize, empower and inspire the young generation to become active citizens and contributors to the efforts of rebuilding their countries.


Peace Now! – Goyang, South Korea (13 – 17 Sept)

On International Youth Day 2017, 500 youth gathered in Goyang, South Korea and launched the Peace Now! Declaration calling for immediate cessation of hostile intent: in the Korean peninsula and the start of talks leading to peace. The initiative is part of the Youth 21 youth and good governance programme which seeks to engage youth in


International Peace Day Celebration – UN Compound and Mathare, Nairobi, Kenya (21 September)

The event will highlight evidence-based promising practices in youth peace building, such as: the Urban Peace Labs initiative; gender and peace building; governance and peace building; sports and peace building  The event will be graced by Elizabeth Taylor Jay, Colombian Ambassador to Kenya, Aisa Kaciyra; Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Isaac Musa, Coordinator, Mathare Environmental One Stop Centre, and others.



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