The 10th Commonwealth Youth Forum began today with an impressive display of Maltese heritage in song and dance. More than 200 youth leaders from across the Commonwealth’s 53 member countries have gathered in Malta, and were entertained by local act Etnika, who gave a rousing song and dance performance at the San Antonio Hotel.
The five-day forum (November 21-25) will see youth delegates explore the key issues facing their generation, and determine their role in implementing the Global Goals. It is held under the theme “Adding Global value…#WhatNext?”
At the opening ceremony, Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, said: “Don’t be afraid to come up with outrageous ideas. Don’t hide from provocative debates. We expect this sort of energy from young people, and I am confident that you will use this Forum to push through an ambitious agenda.”
The opening ceremony also featured short speeches from Ms Gulalai Ismail, the Commonwealth Asia Youth Award Winner 2015, Mr Victor Ochen, the Commonwealth Youth Worker of the Year 2015, and Mr Ahmed Adamu, Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council.
In her speech, Ms Ismail urged youth delegates, “Believe in your dreams. Not because you can change the world, but because you have to change the world.”
In his opening address, the Commonwealth’s Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, said: “At every Commonwealth summit, the Youth Forum brings immense dynamism and energy. It is a hive of activity, buzzing with ideas and ambition…participants in this Forum are standard bearers for the 1.2 billion young people living in the Commonwealth. Young people are the DNA of the Commonwealth.”
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