It expressed an urgent need to work more effectively with youths to bring about a change of mind over secession threats and other agitations.
The UNDP Country Director, Mr. Samuel Bwalya said this on Saturday while addressing the String B, Batch A, National Youth Service Corps members in Kubwa, Abuja during the 2017 International Youth Day celebration.
Bwalya, who was represented by the head, department of governance and peace building, Adams Bergman, stated that the realization of the crucial role of youths in peace-building necessitated the UNDP partnership with the NYSC.
The partnership, he added, would explore sustainable mechanisms for engaging highly educated Nigerian youths to acquire conflict prevention and peace-building skills.
He also admonished the government to expose the corps members to skills acquisition, stressing that meaningful engagement of youths was imperative in the promotion of peace and stability in the country.
He said, “The NYSC is a unique platform that can mobilize youths for peace, and help reverse the negative trends of violent conflicts with attendants loss of lives and property in Nigeria.
“Young people’s inclusion in the peace and security agenda and the society more broadly is key to building and sustaining peace.”
The Country Director described this year’s theme, “Youth Building Peace,” as apposite to the current situation in the country where youths across the six geo-political zones were at the centre of agitations for secession, restiveness, violence and crime.
“The process of social inclusion for youth, including participation in decision-making as well as access to quality education, health care basic services, promotes their role as active contributors to society, and affords young people with the opportunities to reach their potential and achieve their goals”, he added.
The Director-General, NYSC, Gen. Sulaiman Kazaure, stated that the theme was in line with the concept, purpose and objectives behind the establishment of the NYSC scheme in 1973.
A Professor of Criminology and Chief Executive Officer, Omaji Leadership Solutions, Paul Omaji in a lecture, expressed worries that decades after independence, Nigeria had continued to experience anti-peace forces.