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The Duke of Cambridge has praised youth involved in the Commonwealth Youth Programme in a special royal visit to the Commonwealth Pacific Youth Leadership and Integrity Conference.
The Duke of Cambridge gave a short speech to the 40 youth representatives at the conference, run by the Commonwealth Youth Programme’s Pacific Centre as part of its work to engage and empower young people (ages 15-29) and enhance their contribution to development.
The Duke of Cambridge said: “I find it inspirational that young people like you, coming from all over the South Pacific, have chosen to become involved with the Commonwealth. We are its heirs and successors. We must take on the responsibility, the mantle of leadership for the future. I applaud you for being here, and I wish you well in your work in Honiara over these days.
“What you are doing, and the friendships that you make, are critical for your future as young leaders, both in your own countries and in the global family that is the Commonwealth.”
The Duke also presented six young people with Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards: Bryan Anga, Hudson Oeta, Harry James Olikwailafa, Ray Richard, Ashley Watson from Solomon Islands and Rebecca Solomon from Vanuatu.
Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Regional Director, Pacific, Afu Billy said: “It is an honour to host the Duke and Duchess with us at the start of the Commonwealth Pacific Youth Leadership and Integrity Conference. The Royal couple are an inspiration to young people in the Commonwealth. We are delighted about the Duke of Cambridge’s comments that he has been inspired by the young leaders he met in Honiara.”
The Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to the value of the Commonwealth as he commented: “We are, more than ever before, a global community. The Commonwealth reminds us of what we have in common, what our responsibilities to one another are, without this ability to cross the boundaries of nationhood, race and creed, humanity in the future would find it very much harder to advance toward greater harmony and sustainable co-existence.”
Forty young Pacific Leaders are here in Honiara, Solomon Islands for a week-long Commonwealth Pacific Youth Leadership and Integrity Conference. They represent14 Pacific countries: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Zealand, Marshall Islands, Niue, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.
The Conference will build the leadership skills of young people and focus on democracy, parliament, leadership models, conflict resolution and effective communication.
The conference concludes Saturday 22 September.