Active involvement of youths critical to peacebuilding efforts ― Covenant University VC

The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, Professor Abiodun Adebayo, has said that the active involvement of youths is critical to peacebuilding efforts in Nigeria.

He contended that the youth must be groomed for leadership positions, which would enable them to play positive roles in the future and socio-economic growth of the nation.

Adebayo, who made this known during the 3rd Covenant International Model United Nations (CIMUN) conference held at the university, said a conducive atmosphere must be created by the government for the youth to fully develop their potential.

According to him, “the United Nations has been very prominent in efforts to promote international peace and security as part of its mission to improve the well-being of the global community. Its action has helped foster a sustainable development mindset among people everywhere, shaping the future of life on the planet.

“The prevailing political, economic, technological, and social realities of the 21st century require all-inclusive participation and futuristic perspectives to be effective. Young people constitute the future and a critical segment of the world population. Therefore, their inclusion in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts is essential to its success and effectiveness.

“Indeed, young people provide a significant pool of diverse talents yearning for expression for the benefit of society. Unfortunately, young people are constrained from fully expressing their abilities and actively participating in community life due to limitations imposed by climate change, forced displacement, demographic changes, inequalities, and changing labour markets.

“The relegation of young people in the socio-economic space creates an atmosphere of hopelessness and distrust, systems and structures defiance, contributing to national, regional, and global insecurity.

“Young people worldwide strive for the rule of law, gender equality and demand participation in society’s economic and political process. Their potential must be harnessed and their constraints addressed. Therefore, conscious efforts must be made to develop our youths for a leadership role in society.

“Through programmes like CIMUN our youths can develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies. Also, they can build the capacity to analyze their strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, and have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to participate in community life, fostering lasting peace.

“The development of global partnerships that seek to galvanize the talents and ingenuity of young people become imperative towards addressing these challenges. That is why Covenant University is delighted to be associated with the United Nations through the CIMUN Conference.”

Also speaking at the conference, Professor Sherrif Folarin, said “we will, above all things, need our younger people to be mentally, morally and spiritually prepared for the herculean but all-important task of making the fundamental change we desire.”

He further stated: “We will not need older people who have probably exhausted their strength and ideas in the course of existence. It is you, the younger people with fresh ideas and juvenile innocence, which can change the course of happenings in the world.”

In his remark, Professor Kunle Ajayi, a Federal Commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), charged the youth to think outside the box by not limiting their solutions to the table of the government, adding that “you should think deeply of ways you as individuals can contribute collectively to goals of sustainable peace and security in your countries, beginning with the host, Nigeria.”

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