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Image of young woman at CHOGM 2011 Commonwealth Youth Dialogue Breakfast

Ministers, youth and civil society join forces

18 April 2013
Discussions at the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting focused on issues identified by young people

Values-based leadership, good governance, meaningful youth participation and the economic empowerment of young people were the focus of today’s discussions which took place in interactive sessions with ministers, senior officials, youth leaders and civil society representatives.

On the second day of the Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting, the chair, Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Youth, Religion and Community Development, Loujaya Toni, noted that young people are increasingly expressing concern about the integrity of leadership. The global financial crisis, corruption, social and political upheaval, human rights violations and lack of action on key issues such as climate change were cited.

Discussions centred on how values-based leadership can be promoted and modelled in the Commonwealth, with a particular focus on issues such as rule of law, ethics, human rights, good governance and respect for diversity and equity.

Meaningful youth participation, particularly informed access to decision-making processes, is central to the design and implementation of effective national development strategies. Introducing the second session, Ms Toni said: “The rise of technology and social media has resulted in a more empowered and connected youth cohort, who in many cases are taking the initiative to lead and drive change.”

Unemployment and under-employment has emerged as the priority issue for most Commonwealth member countries. Delegates focused on job creation as key to sustainable growth, with discussions around policy and practical solutions aimed at stimulating employment. Youth enterprise, financial inclusion and a better link between education and human resource development were highlighted.

The proceedings closed with a discussion on collaboration and collective impact, spanning cross-border and cross-sector partnerships to deliver tangible priorities for young people.