United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) Mr Babatunde Ahonsi today reiterated the UN's commitment to supporting national institutions and the people of Sierra Leone in conducting peaceful, inclusive, and credible elections later in June this year.
In his remarks at the start of a three-day training organized by UNDP and the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) for young political leaders at the Sierra Bay Hotel in Freetown, the RC also stressed the organization's encouragement for all efforts "aimed at preventing violent conflicts that could revert the country's gains of peace and democracy."
He commended PPRC and UNDP for the training and emphasized that young people have a vital role in the present and future of democracy in Sierra Leone.
"Engaging young people in democratic processes and allowing them to participate, safely and constructively, in politics are core aspects of any effort to sustain democracy," the RC said.
Furthermore, recognizing young people as a positive force in preventing and resolving conflicts and building sustainable peace, according to Mr Ahonsi has gained significant momentum since the UN Security Council resolution 2250 on youth, peace, and security (YPS) on 9 December 2015.
"Young people are described as key agents of change in the 2030 Agenda and crucial actors in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," Mr Ahonsi indicated.
He added that their meaningful inclusion in decision-making processes is also key to the commitment in the 2030 Agenda to "leave no one behind".
Mr Ahonsi said that the UN has increased its call for all countries to reduce violence and resolve disputes peacefully while promoting social inclusion, addressing the justice needs of people and reducing polarization and distrust.
"We will continue to count on Sierra Leone to develop its own strategy for violence prevention in this crucial period for the country's democracy to prevent the recurrence of the unprecedented level of violence experienced on 10 August last year," he stated.
The training facilitated by the Clingendael: Netherlands Institute of International Relations ends on Thursday. It is expected to provide participants with the knowledge to improve their negotiation and consensus-building skills.