Governments and youth leaders from Commonwealth countries in Asia will address regional and global youth development challenges and opportunities when they gather in New Delhi for a three-day meeting this week.
The Asia Region Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting (AsR-CYMM) will be convened by the Commonwealth Secretariat and hosted by the Government of India, in New Delhi, between 28 and 30 July 2015.
The theme of the meeting is: Youth participation at the heart of sustainable development.
Ministers, senior officials from Ministries responsible for youth development, and youth leaders will discuss policy responses to issues such as youth employment, skills development and entrepreneurship, youth participation in civic and political processes, the role of young people in peace building, and the professionalisation of youth work.
Commenting ahead of the meeting, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj said: “Young people have a special capacity for leading and effecting change, and are invaluable assets and partners in national development. If we empower young people they can be key agents for promoting development and peace. If, however, young people are left on society’s margins all of us will be socially and economically poorer for it.”
Mr Maharaj continued: “Commonwealth member governments are using this meeting, hosted and led by the Government of India, to signal their commitment to young people and ensure that policy priorities are aligned to young people’s ambitions and needs.”
During the meeting, ministers, senior officials and youth leaders will review current trends in youth development and identify areas where action is needed to advance youth empowerment in Asia. Delegates will focus on challenges and opportunities for the region, especially in the context of the new global development goals being agreed at the United Nations later in 2015.
Between 27 and 28 July 2015, youth leaders from Commonwealth countries in Asia will participate in a Youth Leaders’ Forum to prepare recommendations for Ministers. The forum is managed by the Commonwealth Youth Council in conjunction with regional youth networks in Asia. They will then join the Ministers for their meeting between 29 and 30 July.
Ms Tharika Dileepani, Regional Representative of the Commonwealth Youth Council for Asia commented: “The meeting is an opportunity to work closely with our neighbouring youth leaders in Asia to strengthen youth networks in our region, as well as linking everyone closer to the Commonwealth and encouraging more youth participation. The meeting is also a good platform which will allow us to put our ideas into action; it is time to work.”
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