The Duke of Sussex, who was last year appointed to be Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, today joined a policy dialogue at Commonwealth headquarters, focused on the implementation of youth policy in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
‘The Roundtable Policy Discussion’, hosted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, was attended by ministers and senior officials responsible for youth development in Commonwealth countries.
His Royal Highness participated in a vibrant exchange with ministers and senior officials as they presented proposals for practical action to support young people in fulfilling their potential and realising their aspirations.
The roundtable was part of the ongoing Commonwealth strategy to engage and support ministers and senior officials in the delivery of youth policy priorities as identified by young people themselves and by youth workers from throughout the Commonwealth.
The Duke of Sussex offered perspectives drawn from his own interactions with young people during his first year as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.
Items on the agenda included policy recommendations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020, regional specific strategies to promote youth development over the next 12 months in accordance with the SDGs, and the future of the Commonwealth for young people as it continues to build on 70 years of pioneering achievement for youth.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland told the gathering that their input and involvement are critical to the successful implementation of the mandates from the London CHOGM of 2018, and that proposals generated at the roundtable discussion will be taken forward to the next CHOGM, to be held next year in Rwanda.
The Secretary-General in her response said ‘Doing nothing is not an option, business as usual is not enough, we must identify and prioritise what needs to be done and move towards implementation of practical actions’.
Ministers and senior officials highlighted the issue of financing youth development, and also of having support for youth workers at grassroots level to tackle the major challenges facing their respective countries.
The ministers and senior officials present at the roundtable discussion have been participating in the inaugural two-week postgraduate executive course in strategic leadership and management entitled: Accelerating Youth Policy Implementation