On International Youth Day 2017, the #NotTooYoungToRun Movement celebrates the achievements of young men and women in social, economic, cultural and political spaces. As a youth driven movement promoting political inclusion and youth leadership, #NotTooYoungToRun recognizes the efforts of young people in different communities committed to building peace, promoting inclusion, mainstreaming youth participation for democratic development. We celebrate the young men and women who have served in different peace keeping missions and who have lost their lives in the service especially within the African Continent.

The theme for the 2017 International Youth Day; Youth Building Peace is a reminder of the indispensable role of the youth in building peace and promoting peaceful co-existence.

The current generation of youth is the largest in history. International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. It also reaffirms the important role youth can play in deterring and resolving conflicts, and are key constituents in ensuring the success of both peacekeeping and peace-building efforts.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to fostering peaceful and inclusive societies and affirmed that “sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security”. Goal 16 aims to ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which provides a policy framework and practical guidelines to improve the situation of young people, also encourages “promoting the active involvement of youth in maintaining peace and security”.

Since the start of the campaign in Nigeria, through various decisions and activities, the Campaign has shown it commitment towards youth development in a peaceful manner. The adoption and endorsement of the Campaign by the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth and the African Union attests to the importance of inclusion, as a pre-condition for sustainable peace.

The #NotTooYoungToRun Movement also recognizes the recent role of young men and women in Kenya, who adopted the #NotTooYoungToRun Campaign in preparation for the elections and their efforts to mitigate potentials for electoral related violence, through activities such as dialogue promotion, early warning/early response efforts and long-term observation of the campaign environment. We specially congratulate the new elected young representatives in Kenya and appreciate them for giving African youth an opportunity to share in their success as a source of inspiration to young people seeking or aspiring to run for elections.

The passage of the constitutional amendments by the National Assembly in Nigeria to reduce the age for contesting elections is a response to the call for youth-inclusive governance in a country where nearly 70% of its population is young. #NotTooYoungToRun movement in Nigeria has shown the power of one; what we can achieve when we work in unison and with one goal. It also proves that young people are constructively and strategically engaging within the ambits of the law to effect constitutional change while promoting democratic development.

As the world celebrates International Youth Day, the #NotTooYoungToRun Movement is confident that together we will make history as the youth movement that entrenched youth-inclusive governance in our Constitution by galvanizing the Power of One.

Our Shared Goal #NotTooYongToRun

Our Shared Value #NotTooYoungToRun

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