Rate this
4.3 (8 votes)
“Youth participate in lead-up to CHOGM 2015”
4.25 out of 5 based on 8 user ratings

“Youth participate in lead-up to CHOGM 2015”

Mridul UpadhyayYouth recently met with decision makers and government ministers during the Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting. Mridul Upadhyay, 24, a Commonwealth Correspondent from New Delhi in India says the discussions are a vital step toward action and the CHOGM in Malta.

“We, the youth, are not just 50 per cent of today’s population. But we are 100 per cent of the world’s future,” says Ravi Theja, a finalist for the Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Award

With this and many such quotes, youth leaders from Asian Commonwealth countries firmly showcased their determination to find the solution for issues negatively impacting young people in Asia, and asked support from Youth Ministers and senior government officials.

The Asia Region- Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (CYMM) and Youth Forum was convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat and hosted by India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under the theme “Youth participation at the heart of sustainable development”.

Over the past 16 years, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Division has periodically brought together Ministers responsible for Youth to agree on the priorities for young people in its member states. Every effort is made to include youth by facilitating youth forums as a precursor to the various Ministerial meetings.

The youth leaders put forward the key issues and concerns, as well as new ideas. During the meeting, the delegates focused on youth development challenges and opportunities, including youth in global development agenda, youth employment and entrepreneurship, national youth policies, youth led organization and networks, youth participation in government processes and professionalism in the youth work sector.

After getting proper exposure to current trends in youth development in Asia from eminent speakers, the youth leaders put forward prioritised recommendations for future action to advance youth empowerment – recommendations such as local to global level participation in governance through adequate representation, promotion of civic education, inclusive selection process for youth delegations, effective national youth councils, academic and professional validation of youth work courses, professional ethical standards for youth work, improved mechanism for acquiring, assessing and publishing data on youth issues, green jobs, better access to entrepreneurial resources, effective implementation of national action plans according to national youth policy, life skills inculcation, youth volunteerism to support peace building efforts and improved education systems.

The youth leaders also called on Ministers to partner with them to strengthen and cultivate inclusive, democratic, autonomous and youth-led National Youth Councils in all Asian Commonwealth countries and a Regional Youth Council at the Asia level.

In addition, the youth leaders called on fellow youth leaders and the Commonwealth Secretariat for supportive steps in the Youth Declaration, such as connecting with the Commonwealth Youth Council, promoting awareness about NYCs and entrepreneurship, and formulating the Commonwealth Youth Development Index.  It was as the old African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.

In his address, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj heralded young people as drivers of change to improve the region’s future prospects.

“Investing in young people, ensuring decent employment and education prospects, including them in decision making, and creating an enabling environment where creativity, leadership and energy can flourish will invariably lay the foundations for more prosperous, healthier and stronger societies,” he said.

Ministers agreed on recommendations set out in the Youth Declaration. They recognized that providing a greater role for young people in decision making is essential for the region’s development and agreed to advocate for adequate financing for youth development at all levels. Ministers also reinforced their commitment to youth work and agreed to collaborate with the Commonwealth consortium to create a bachelor’s degree in youth development work.

Still, words are not enough. Youth need action and result. So why is this meeting and such platforms so important?

  1. At this meeting high officials and ministers learned that young people are really working hard and that youth delegates exhibit serious commitment to seeking solutions to youth related issues on the basis of concrete recommendations and in the context of an integrated approach to policy. Ministers acknowledged that the youth representatives were well-informed, and they appreciated the wider geopolitical context of their discussions.
  2. The ministers and officials at this high level meeting got a chance to understand the issues profoundly from the experts, then brainstorm and discuss in an open platform among themselves and with other officials and youth representatives during the joint meeting. They found it more than report-reading and agreement sessions.

SO…#whatnext?

These regional CYMMs are deliberations in preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and Youth Forum in November, 2015, in Malta. The theme of the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Forum will be, ‘Adding Global Value…#whatnext’.

For Further reading: Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting – Final Communique (http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/press-release/documents/AsR-CYMM%20Communique%20Final.pdf)

Youth Declaration – Asia Region CYMM (http://thecommonwealth.org/sites/default/files/press-release/documents/Youth%20Declaration_Asia%20Region%20Commonwealth%20Youth%20Ministers%20Meeting.pdf)

Reference:  The Commonwealth

Photo: Mridul Upadhyay

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

About me:
A thinker, a social volunteer, a mechanical designer, a theater artist, a guitar player, a lyrics-writer, an amateur sketch artist, a cook, a traveler, a wannabe civil servant – there are many phrases I enjoy trying on me to describe what I see myself as.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit:
http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments