The Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace & Security (CCYPS) is a network of individuals and organizations working or interested in Youth, Peace and Security with the primary purpose of uplifting each others’ work, advocacy and research. The CCYPS platform fosters a collaborative space for Canadian young people and allies to share and exchange resources and opportunities to better engage in the United Nations’ Youth, Peace and Security agenda locally, nationally and globally.
The CCYPS works with YPS both as a domestic agenda and a foreign affairs agenda. Through some of our advocacy work, we address the nexus that exists between the YPS and WPS agendas.
Some of our members have extensive expertise in WPS work, both within Canada and elsewhere, which has served to strengthen our engagement in the Compact Coalition on WPS and Humanitarian Action with the Generation Equality Forum process. Additionally, our members have contributed to the Feminist Foreign Policy consultations, calling for stronger links between WPS and YPS within Canadian foreign policy. They have produced further writing on this intersection, including in the WPSN-C’s blog series highlighting “Why ‘Empowerment’ is no longer enough” and in a chapter submission published in the recent “Reflections on Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security: Gains, Gaps & Goals” publication.
Share a highlight of your work on WPS issues
In 2019, we sponsored the participation of 32 young Our members have been involved in the Generation Equality Forum process since before the creation of our Coalition. Some of them were part of the civil society-led advocacy for the establishment of the Compact Coalition on WPS and Humanitarian Action (HA), and others part of UN Women’s National Gender Youth Activists who helped shape the GEF. This has been a highlight of our work at the intersection of WPS and YPS as the GEF now has a formal structure to ensure the mainstreaming of WPS, YPS and HA commitments across all the Action Coalitions. We are also thrilled to have been involved in these processes as we were able to strengthen partnerships (with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, Our Generation for Inclusive Peace, and others) as well as ensure the voices of diverse youth and women peacebuilders were included in these global fora.
Who do you admire in the WPS field?
Beth Woroniuk. We are fans of Beth because she embodies what it means to be collaborative and supportive of others. She has welcomed our Coalition into the WPS space and has enabled many opportunities for us to be heard, recognized and respected as equals. We want to be Beth when we grow up (wink)!
What have you read recently that you would like to recommend to Network members?
Particularly the chapter where Lucy Hall interviews Rita M. Lopidia on her work in South Sudan. Rita talks about the role of young women in building peace in South Sudan, in a post-war context. It is a must read interview!
If you could make one recommendation on WPS issues to Prime Minister Trudeau, what would it be?
Being a feminist is more than supporting gender equality and claiming it at the UN: Feminism is a process of questioning and demanding better of ourselves and our institutions. A true feminist understands that we are never done fighting for equality – and that none of us are equal until we all are.
What is your dream for the WPS agenda?
We hope the WPS agenda can steer away from the consistent need for competition due to scarcity of resources. We hope for WPS research, advocacy and programming to be funded adequately and to ensure the successful lived rights of all women, young women and girls. WPS is a tool and should be viewed as such by all decision-makers and funders!
Is there something else you’d like to say about WPS issues?
Despite being YPS actors, the WPS spaces and issues are close to our hearts. The young people we represent and whom we work with are impacted everyday by the decisions the WPS actors make and the work of the WPS agenda. We hope the collaboration between our Coalition and the WPSN-C can demonstrate the benefits of collaborative and cooperative partnerships between WPS and YPS to ensure no young person, young woman or woman is left behind.