The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) conducted its first training workshop for young volunteer leaders in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago from 13-15 June. Colombia, Honduras, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago will be the four countries from the region to benefit from this initiative.

The purpose of this project is to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to improve the skills of young volunteer leaders with regards to SDG 16, peace, security and disarmament so that they may be able to propose indicators (developed through participatory methodology) to measure these phenomena. SDG 16 is dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies, access to justice for all, and the creation of effective and accountable institutions at all levels. It includes targets for reducing illicit arms flows, all forms of violence and related deaths, and ensuring participatory decision-making. Specifically, goal 16.4 establishes the intrinsic relationship between development and flows of illicit arms.

The pilot workshop in Trinidad and Tobago was attended by fifteen young volunteers representing volunteer organisations who are leading the promotion of the 2030 Agenda at the community level in Trinidad and Tobago. The sessions were facilitated by UNLIREC, the UNV Regional Office, and the young volunteer who serves as focal point for this project. The workshop addressed the different dimensions and scope of violence, peace, human security and disarmament and introduced practical tools to convert their perceptions of these phenomena into valuable indicators for their measurement.

The workshop initiates the project, whose activities will continue until December 2017 in the four countries. During this time, not only will participatory indicators for SDG 16 be developed, but these will be validated by the youth in their communities and presented to the main local and regional government authorities with the aim of giving greater visibility and recognition to the role the youth can play in the promotion of more peaceful, just and inclusive societies through volunteering.