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Young people: partners for a secure, fair and prosperous Commonwealth

12 October 2017

The Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has welcomed a taskforce of youth delegates from across the Commonwealth to London. They are in London for a weeklong planning meeting for the next Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) and Commonwealth Youth Council General Assembly (CYCGA).

Speaking at the Commonwealth’s headquarters, the Secretary-General said, “Every time I have the privilege of being with such impressive young people I see afresh the potential, importance and vivacity of our Commonwealth. You represent young people of many different races, religions, and cultures, yet share a spirit of goodwill and an inspiring determination to work together for the common good.”

The Secretary-General continued, “Individually and collectively you can achieve great things, and your vision for the Commonwealth vision will motivate and mobilise rising generations. The Commonwealth Youth Forum is in very capable hands, and I greatly look forward to being part of it. Your time together this week and the plans you make will lay the foundations for a rewarding and successful forum for the many youth delegates from across the Commonwealth who next April will assemble in London.”

The eight members of the international taskforce selected via an open process by the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) were joined by eight representatives from the British Youth Council at Marlborough House. Four Regional Youth Councils were also part of the task force representing Africa, Asia, Caribbean and the Pacific to ensure regional balance. Members of the taskforce represented countries from across the Commonwealth, including Ghana, Rwanda, Zambia, Seychelles, Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Samoa, Canada, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The CYF and CYCGA are held during the week of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a biennial summit of leaders.  The next CHOGM takes place next April in London.

Co-Chair of the International Task Force Angelique Pouponneau from Seychelles; CYC’s Vice-Chairperson for Inclusion and Engagement said, “I’d like to see a roadmap where we have a clear guideline of where we’re going, using dates, action tasks up to CHOGM in April. But I’d also like to see a clear vision of where we’re going and what this youth forum is going to look like.”

Fellow Co-Chair of the Task Force from the British Youth Council Leon Ward said, “The taskforce is a selection of young people from across the Commonwealth and several people from the UK. We are pulling together the programme for the Commonwealth Youth Forum next year. Young people will come together, work within the four themes of next year, which is security, sustainability, fairness and prosperity to deliver a communique of asks to the heads of government next year.

“This week is about us understanding how we use this great opportunity where we have stakeholders from across the Commonwealth to deliver on some of the issues that the Commonwealth and Commonwealth countries are facing.”

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