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Putting youth at the centre of decision making
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Putting youth at the centre of decision making

Youth representatives from all over the Commonwealth countries of the world, including the Pacific region, are packing their bags for Perth, Western Australia in preparation for this month’s Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF8), which will be held from 23 to 27 October 2011.

The Commonwealth Youth Forum takes place every two years just prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). It reflects the spirit of the Commonwealth and highlights the Commonwealth’s commitment to the principles of democracy and diversity and to young people.

CYF provides an opportunity for Commonwealth youth leaders to identify their priorities for the next two years, share experiences and develop skills. It also provides a unique forum for youth delegates to contribute to the Commonwealth policy agenda.

“Young people do not present problems, they present solutions. It is of utmost importance that we listen to the views and ideas of young people, and include them in our policies and decision making”, said Ms Afu Billy, Regional Director for Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre.

The Forum will be attended by up to 130 Australian and international delegates to develop understanding of the Commonwealth and to create a platform for young people to contribute to the Commonwealth.

CYP Pacific Centre will directly contribute through its research into a ‘Pacific framework for youth participation in decision making’ as well as leading a strategic thinking session to build skills for young Commonwealth leaders.

The meeting comes at a time of change for the Commonwealth, including the restructuring of the Commonwealth Youth Programme and the report of the Eminent Persons Group, which will deliver key recommendations affecting Commonwealth youth.

“CYP is delivering a new Commonwealth youth structure, for a new generation, so we are at a very exciting time,” said Ms Billy.

“CYP’s work is in keeping with international trends towards strengthening youth structures to enable young people to participate in solutions to today’s global challenges,” said Ms Billy.

CYF delegates will produce a communiqué which will be circulated at CHOGM and presented to the Commonwealth Secretariat. A select few will also be afforded the opportunity to meet with Heads of Governments as part of the Youth Dialogue with World Leaders, giving young people a chance to have their opinions heard by the leaders of Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth Youth Forum is organised by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in association with the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council and the Commonwealth Youth Programme.

The Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) is an international development agency that works to give young people aged 15 – 29 the skills, confidence and means to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. CYP works in partnership with young people, governments, NGOs and other key youth stakeholders

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