A delegation from South Korea visited the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Affairs Division (YAD) on 24 August 2011 as part of a fact-finding tour on youth development in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
The delegation, led by the Director of South Korea’s Ministry of Gender, Lee Jai Bok, met with officials from YAD; the Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus; the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council; and Tower Hamlets London Borough Council, at the Secretariat’s headquarters at Marlborough House in London.
Tina Ho from YAD spoke about the Secretariat’s role in promoting youth development in the Commonwealth through its Commonwealth Youth Programme regional centres in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
She explained that youth from the Commonwealth’s regions are represented in Regional Youth Caucuses (RYCs) who make up the Pan-Commonwealth Youth Caucus (PCYC). The PCYC communicates the views of young people to the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Helen Jones, deputy chief executive of the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, told the delegation about her organisation’s two-way exchange programme for groups of young people in the UK and other Commonwealth countries, which is planned, managed and delivered by young people.
“Our model is based on young people working together to develop new intercultural skills,” she said.
A former youth worker and now Transition to Employment Manager, Children, Schools and Families Directorate of the Tower Hamlets London Borough Council, Kevin Munday, explained the history of the youth movement in the United Kingdom and the roles and responsibilities of local government in working with civil society to support youth development.
Discussions also took place on strategies to deal with underage smoking, alcohol abuse and crime.
The South Korea Embassy Counsellor in London, Byoung-kwon Oh, said the meeting was very informative.
“Delegates said that their visit to the Commonwealth Secretariat had been very useful. The information would be a good reference for the Korean Youth Programme.”