A youth-led taskforce has met in Kigali to lay the foundations of the 12th Commonwealth Youth Forum which takes place in Rwanda next year.
The forum, one of four meetings to be held on the margins of the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), will be an opportunity for young people to discuss and build consensus on key priorities and then recommend them to the leaders for action.
The taskforce is responsible for developing the agenda, themes and action plan for the forum, to best reflect the needs and aspirations of the Commonwealth’s 1.2 billion young people.
During the meeting, taskforce members considered the main themes for the forum such as employment, climate change and sport. They also discussed the key policy priorities to recommend to leaders when they meet at CHOGM in June next year.
Darion Narine, the taskforce’s chair from Trinidad and Tobago, said: “This being the 12th Commonwealth Youth Forum, we, as young people of the Commonwealth, will have the chance to renew our declaration and priorities, elect our new Commonwealth Youth Council leaders, and set forward a new commitment for youth development in the Commonwealth.”
The taskforce includes young leaders from eight member countries who will work in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Council, Rwandan National Youth Council, regional youth-led networks and the government of Rwanda.
The Commonwealth’s social policy head, Layne Robinson, said: “The presence of young leaders at CHOGM has always been an opportunity for intergenerational policy dialogues which recognise the capacity, contribution and potential of young people in all levels of decision making.
“The 12th Commonwealth Youth Forum will be a unique one with Rwanda being a thought leader in innovation and youth empowerment, which will give a good platform to ensure the dynamic community of nations and young people have great lessons to learn and a legacy to leave behind too.”