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Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus: International Youth Day Message

12 August 2011
This year we mark International Youth Day under the theme ‘Change our World’. The Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus joins the rest of the world in celebrating and acknowledging the contribution of young people towards making our global community a better place.

The theme ‘Change Our World’ not only expresses the level of impact that young people strive to achieve, but also reflects the notion of a global community. This is a call to inspire youth initiatives at all levels with the idea that efforts at local level can have a global impact.

We make up over 60 per cent of the world’s population. In the Commonwealth that’s over one billion people. As young people, we believe in change that leads to better, more sustainable outcomes. We are the inheritors of the actions of those who have come before us. Yet we are also the innovators who can rectify the consequences of poor decisions and bad policies. This theme is important to us because we want to see real change, not just more statements and messages, but actions and implementation. We are calling for meaningful youth engagement and an active demonstration of consistent youth involvement in decision making processes.

The Pan Commonwealth Youth Caucus believes that decision makers in all Commonwealth countries can accept the challenge of changing our world by investing in young people.

As young people, we must realise that we are the ones who will be affected by today’s decisions. It is our creative ideas and voices that will shape the future: we are young, active, and full of energy. We embrace challenges and are open to new and different experiences.

We are confident that we can learn from yesterday, challenge today’s world and build a better tomorrow. But we need to get actively involved in making change possible. Small efforts can yield big results.

As we celebrate the theme ‘Change our World’, let us collectively find solutions to unlock the potential, energy, imagination and initiatives that should drive young people’s crucial contributions to enact change.

We encourage stakeholders to acknowledge this year’s theme and work with us to ensure that policies and processes are in place to continue investing in youth, to increase youth participation and partnerships, and to increase understanding among youths of different cultures.

On this International Youth Day, we commit ourselves, as a caucus of youth advocates and youth leaders, to take action now to ensure the world is a better place for generations to come. The world needs our ideas and our voices.

“Let us be the change we want to see”