Source: United Nations

Source: United Nations

New York, April 13, 2018 - SDSN Youth celebrates the launch of the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security and recognizes the importance of youth as agents of change in the maintenance and promotion of international peace and security. In submitting a thematic paper on the impact of climate change on Youth, Peace and Security, SDSN Youth had a lasting impact on the Progress Study, which will drive policymaking for many years to come.

December 9th, 2015 marks a historic day for the over 3.5 billion people, currently under the age of 30, all across the globe. On this date the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Security Council Resolution 2250 (SCR 2250) on Youth, Peace and Security, urging Member States to increase youth representation in decision making at local, national, regional and international levels.

In support of the Resolution, SDSN Youth developed a thematic paper on the impact of climate change on the security and development prospects of young people in Africa and the Middle East. The thematic paper examines the threats posed by climate change, ranging from rising temperatures, droughts and desertification to water scarcity and vector-borne diseases, and their effect on young people.

As more young people than ever before live in the world and this number is growing, entrusting and involving young people in the response to climate change will be critical. Policymaking will need to set up mechanisms that enable young people to participate meaningfully in security and peacemaking processes. Inspired by the 5 pillars of SCR 2250, the thematic paper sets out policy recommendations to serve as guideposts for policymakers looking at climate change issues in the context of youth-led development.

Launched on March 2nd 2018, the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security mandated by SCR 2250 defines critical issues and areas of interventions for young people in sustaining peace. It is an agenda-setting document that defines a strategy for the implementation of SCR 2250. SDSN Youth is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the Progress Study and for the recognition “of climate change as a progenitor of conflict impacting future generations”.

An understanding of the impact of climate change on communities is critical for understanding the underlying mechanisms of how forced migration, conflict and security challenges apply specifically to young people. It is further important to help inform young people and youth leaders on how to solve development challenges and engage in peacebuilding.

The Progress Study not only brings youth to the forefront of a dialogue that directly impacts them, but also serve as an inspiration for the massive, yet unexploited energy that youth possess in realizing the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Julian Payne, the lead author of the thematic paper, said “Youth populations are not only victims. They are also uniquely positioned to contribute to innovation and boost economic growth. Unlocking these benefits will require targeted policymaking that takes into consideration the potential risks posed by climate change and growing youth populations while recognizing the ways in which youth can uniquely shape positive outcomes. I am particularly pleased to find that our thematic paper had a lasting impact on the Progress Study and will hopefully drive policymaking for years to come”.

SDSN Youth would like to thank the U-Report team at UNICEF’s Global Innovation Centre that assisted in rolling out a global survey on the relationship between climate change and security risks, reaching over 150k people globally. We are also particularly grateful to members of our Academic Advisory Committee, a panel of 10 experts tasked with providing feedback on technical queries as well as assuring the methodological rigor of the thematic paper:

  • Wiebke Koenig, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Alex Heikens, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • Katrina Lee-Koo, Monash University
  • Halvard Buhaug, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Joshua Castellino, Middlesex University
  • Nina Von Uexkull, Uppsala University
  • Eve de la Mothe Karoubi, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)
  • Lama Ranjous, Arab Youth Climate Movement
  • Erika Weinthal, Duke University
  • Siamak Sam Loni, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

Read the full thematic paper here.



In December 2015, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted the ground-breaking and historic Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace & Security. UNSCR 2250 is a thematic resolution dealing specifically with the topic of youth (defined as ages 18-29) from an international peace and security perspective.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was launched at UN Headquarters in September 2015 and adopted by 193 member countries of the UN. The SDGs, which are relevant to all countries, aim to achieve social inclusion, economic prosperity, and environmental sustainability.

SDSN was launched by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, in 2012 to mobilize global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDSN Youth is the youth initiative of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, focused on empowering youth globally to create sustainable development solutions. SDSN Youth educates young people about the challenges of sustainable development and creates opportunities for them to use their creativity and knowledge to pioneer innovative solutions for the SDGs.